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  • The Honolulu Jewish Film Festival at Doris Duke Theatre

  • Type: Film Festival
    Date: March 4 - March 26, 2017
    Time: See notes below for times
    Doris Duke Theatre
    900 S Beretania St,
    Honolulu, HI 96814

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The Honolulu Jewish Film Festival


March 4-March 26

Now in its 15th year, the Honolulu Jewish Film Festival returns with crowd-pleasing films that celebrate the Jewish diaspora, along with documentaries on the impact of the Jewish community on the performing arts.

Presented in partnership with Temple Emanu-El in memory of Kirk Cashmere.

Special thanks to the Honolulu Jewish Film Festival Committee.

Opening Night Reception: Saturday, March 4 at 6:00 PM
Enjoy pupu and a no-host bar then see Denial at 7:30 pm. $15 l $12 museum members.

View film descriptions and showtimes here.

Purchase movie tickets at the Museum website here.

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TheHonolulu Jewish Film Festival isin its third week at the Honolulu Museum of Art Doris Duke Theater! Presented in partnership with Temple Emanu-El in memory of Kirk Cashmere, the festival brings a lineup of dramatic films,comedies and documentariesfrom the United States, Britain, Canada, Israel, Germany, France and Belgium.

Several documentaries highlight the influence of the Jewish community on the performing arts, including Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy. Narrated by Academy Award® winner Joel Grey, the film reveals the role Jewish songwriters have played in the creation of the modern American musical, and shows how elements of traditional Jewish music can still be heard in Broadway melodies. See it Thursday 3/16 at 1pm and Wednesday 3/22 at 7:30pm, when it's introduced by New Yorktheater aficianado Michael Rubin.Beautiful Music is the story of a Jewish pianist and composer who teaches piano to a nine year old blind and severely autistic Palestinian girl, pairs with Joe's Violin, an Oscar nominated short, of a Holocaust survivor who donates his violin to an instrument drive, changing the life a 12-year-old Bronx student - and his own. See them both today, Thursday 3/16and Sunday, 3/19, bothat 7:30pm. Catch the final showing of Flory's Flame, a compelling documentary about the life of music of renowned Sephardic performer Flory Jagoda- the Ladino Mamma Mia on Tuesday,3/21 at 1pm. There's a special post-Festival film,Mr. Gaga,about Ohad Naharin, artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Companyon 3/28 at 1pm and 7:30pm. Plus, don't miss Bank of Hawaii Family Sunday Jewish themed "Shaloha," 3/19, 11am - 3pm with live music and dance, storytelling, art activites, tours, and more.

Full Schedule

Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy

Directed by Michael Kantor. USA. 2013. 84 min.

Thursday, March 16 at 1 p.m.

Wednesday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m. Introduced by Michael Rubin, Theater Aficianado
Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy is the first documentary film to explore a little-known phenomenon: that the songs of the Broadway musical were created almost exclusively by Jewish Americans composers and lyricists. Developed over a fifty-year period, these melodies and lyrics are the popular songs that our nation took to war, sang to their children at bedtime, and whistled while waiting for the bus. They comprise the vast majority of what is now commonly referred to as "The American Songbook."

Beautiful Music + Joe's Violin

Thursday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m., Introduced by George Hudes

Two short documentaries bring music to unexpected communities.

Beautiful Music

Directed by Richard Trank. USA. 2005. 38 min.

Beautiful Music is the true story of Devorah Schramm, an American-born Orthodox Jewish pianist and composer. After relocating to Israel, she teaches piano to a nine-year-old blind and severely autistic Palestinian girl, Rasha Hamid, in the worst days of the Intifada. Rasha becomes a gifted pianist. This heartwarming story is a snapshot of what is possible when peace finally comes to the Middle East. It is a testimony to the talents and resources that Israel has to offer and is eager to share with the entire region.

Joe's Violin

Directed by Kahane Cooperman. USA. 2016. 24 min.

In this award-winning short, a donated musical instrument forges an improbable friendship between ninety-one-year-old Joe Feingold, a Holocaust survivor, and Brianna Perez, a twelve-year-old Bronx schoolgirl. The power of music brings light and real-life skills to the nation's poorest Congressional district, showing how a small gift can have a great impact

Flory's Flame

Directed by Curt Fissel and Ellen Friedland. USA. 2014. 60 min.

Tuesday, March 21 at 1 p.m.

Flory's Flame is a compelling one-hour documentary about the life and music of renowned Sephardic composer and performer Flory Jagoda--known as the "Ladino Mamma Mia." The film interlaces ninety-year-old Flory's personal narrative with selections from her joyous September 2013 Celebration Concert at the U.S. Library of Congress

Fanny's Journey

Directed by Lola Doillon. France/Belgium. 2016. 94 min. French with English subtitles.

Friday, March 17 at 1 p.m., Introduced by Dr. Didier Lenglare, French and Humanities professor, Leeward CC

Sunday, March 19 at 4 p.m., Introduced by Dr. Didier Lenglare, French and Humanities professor, Leeward CC

Based on a true story, Fanny's Journey is an incredible tale of bravery, strength and survival, the story of a daring young girl who stops at nothing and fears no one. Thirteen-year-old Fanny and her younger sisters are sent from their home in Nazi-occupied France to an Italian foster home for Jewish children. When the Nazis arrive in Italy, the foster families desperately organize the departure of all the children to Switzerland. Suddenly left on their own, these eleven children try to do the impossible: reach the Swiss border to freedom.

See the trailer.


Directed by Jonathan Geva. Israel. 2015. 90 min. Hebrew with English subtitles.

Sunday, March 19 at 11:10 a.m. + 1 p.m. Introduction by Kathy Krammer. Free admissionfor all, as the Family Sunday film.
Plagued with guilt over his older brother's death in a car accident, Adam feels he's all alone in the world. Everything changes the day he meets Abulele, a brilliantly animated furry, but troubled "monster." Abulele turns out to be lovable, and the two quickly become secret best friends. Adam's grieving parents suspect their son is up to something and call in Special Forces. To save his new friend, Adam must put his tragic past behind him and learn that when you truly love someone, you're never really alone.

See the trailer.


Directed by Atom Egoyan. Canada/Germany. 2016. 94 min. English and German with English subtitles.

Saturday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m. Introduced by Rabbi Daniel Lev

Wednesday, March 22 at 1 p.m. Join Hadassah friends and guests for no-host lunch at the Museum Cafe, 11:30am. RSVP to Andrea at or 265-3559.
Zev Guttman is a ninety-year-old struggling with memory loss, living out his final years in a serene retirement home. A week after the death of his beloved wife, he suddenly gets a mysterious package from his close friend Max. It contains a stack of money and a letter ordering him to carry out a shocking plan. Both Zev and Max are survivors of Auschwitz. The same sadistic guard was responsible for the deaths of both their families--a guard who escaped from Germany after the war and is living in the U.S. under an assumed identity. Following Max's shrewd instructions, Zev embarks on a cross-continental road trip to bring justice once and for all to the man who destroyed both their lives. Co-starring Academy Award® winners Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau.

See the trailer.


Directed by Mick Jackson. UK/USA. 2016. 110 min.

Tuesday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Based on her acclaimed book Denying the Holocaust, this true story recounts Deborah Lipstadt's harrowing legal battle against author David Irving, whom she calls a dangerous Holocaust denier. After publication in the U.K., Irving sued her for libel. In the English legal system, in libel cases the burden of proof is on the defendant. It is up to Lipstadt and her team of solicitors, historians and experts to prove the essential historical truth: that the Holocaust occurred. Co-starring Academy Award® winner Rachel Weisz and Academy Award® nominee Tom Wilkinson.

See the trailer.

March of the Living

Directed by Jessica Sanders. USA. 2010. 74 min.

Sunday, March 26 at 1 p.m., Introduced and with post film Q & A, Professor Peter Hoffenberg, History, UH Manoa

The last generation of Holocaust survivors travels to Poland with thousands of teenagers from around the world. They revisit the sites of the Holocaust and retrace the Death March from Auschwitz to Birkenau. Raising awareness of the worldwide dangers of genocide, this moving documentary is a Sundance Award winner and Academy Award nominee. The film conveys the survivors' hope of passing down their history and memory of the Holocaust to the next generation.

See the trailer.

Mr. Gaga Directed by Tomar Heymann. Israel/Sweden/Germany/Netherlands. 2015. 100 min. English and Hebrew with English subtitles.

Tuesday, March 28 at 1 p.m + 7:30 p.m.

Ohad Naharin, artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company, is regarded as one of the most important choreographers in the world. Meeting him at a critical turning point in his personal life, this spirited and insightful documentary willintroduce you to a man with great artistic integrity and an extraordinary vision. Filmed over a period of eight years, director Tomer Heymann mixes intimate rehearsal footage with an extensive unseen archive and breathtaking dance sequences. The story of an artistic genius who redefined the language of modern dance is guaranteed to leave you skipping.

Related programming:

Tour & Talk Story docent led-tours continue on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m., followed by complimentary cookies and conversation 3:30 p.m. -4 p.m. in the Palm Courtyard. 3/16 and 3/19 "Jewish Artists" led by Margery Ziffrin + Andrea Snyder, and 3/21, 3/23 & 3/26 "Religions in Art" by Bill + Karlyn Pearl.

3/19, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.Bank of Hawaii Sunday: "Shaloha,"with screenings of Abulele, art activities, music, dance, gallery tours, storytelling, Israel tourism, andhostingby Jewishcongregations Temple Emanu-El,Oahu Jewish Ohana, Congregation Sof Ma'arav, Jewish Community Services and Hadassah,WZOA.Honolulu Museum of Art Beretania and Spalding House locations. Free admission, and free shuttle between museums.

3/25 & 3/29, 1 p.m.- 3 p.m., HoMA Book Club, The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks. Book discussion the first hour, followed by a second hour gallery tour of related art, and then 3:30 p.m complimentary cookies and no-host coffee bar in the Palm Courtyard. Led by Cathy Levinson and Andrea Snyder.

Doris Duke Theatre information:

The Doris Duke Theatre opens its doors on Kina‘u Street one half-hour before each film screening and concert.

Film tickets: Available at the theater door on the day of screening, beginning one half-hour before each showing, or online in advance.

Film admission: $10 general admission; $8 museum members; free for children 17 and under at the door.

Matinee Rewards Card: Pick one up at the theater box office. When theatergoers attend three matinees, they receive free admission to a fourth screening. Or they can bring three friends to a single matinee and receive free admission to a future screening. The free screening pass is valid for three months.

Concession stand: In the lobby, visitors can purchase classic movie snacks and locally made goodies ($2-$6). Drinks include coffee, hot tea, Perrier, Bai, Bundaberg, Ginger Beer, and bottled water ($2-$4.5).


Make a Donation

If you are interested in making a donation to help underwrite the cost of the Festival, please download the contribution form here. After completing the form you may mail to:

Temple Emanu-El
2550 Pali Highway
Honolulu, HI 96817

Donations over $100 receive two complimentary tickets to use on any film during the festival. Proceeds of tickets bought at the Doris Duke go to the Honolulu Museum of Art.

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