Jewish Film Festival.
May 5-8. Annual touring festival of documentary and feature films on Jewish themes.
May 5: Life in Stills (Tamar Tal, 2011) and “Numbered” (Dana Doron & Uriel Sinai, 2012). Documentary double feature. Life in Stills is about the relationship between a 96-year-old Israeli woman and her grandson as they struggle to rescue from demolition her photo shop, which contains nearly one million negatives documenting Israel’s beginnings, and Numbered is about Auschwitz survivors and the relationship they have with the tattooed number on their arms. Hebrew, subtitles. 2 p.m. Hava Nagila: The Movie (Robert Grossman, 2012). Documentary about the history of this ubiquitous Jewish folk song that traces its around-the-world journey from the Ukraine to Israel, the Catskills, and YouTube. Interviews with Harry Belafonte, Leonard Nimoy, Connie Francis, and Glen Campbell, as well as performances of the song by Belafonte, Francis, Danny Kaye, Bob Dylan, Lena Horne, Regina Spektor, and Chubby Checker. 8 p.m.
May 6: BESA: The Promise (Rachel Goslins, 2012). Documentary about the families, mostly Muslim, who helped save Jewish families in Nazi-occupied Albania. English & Arabic, subtitles. Followed by a talk by Indiana University linguistics & anthropology professor Frances Trix, winner of the Albanian American National Association Lifetime Achievement Award. 2 p.m. A Bottle in the Gaza Sea (Thierry Binisti, 2011). Adaptation of Valerie Zenatti’s award-winning novel about the email-nurtured romance that blossoms between a 17-year-old French girl whose family has settled in Jerusalem and a 20-year-old Palestinian. French, Hebrew, English, & Arabic; subtitles. 5 p.m. The Flat (Arnon Goldfinger, 2012). Documentary about the director’s discovery, as he cleans out the Tel Aviv flat of his deceased grandparents—both immigrants from Nazi Germany—of a bizarre commemorative coin that points to a complicated and shocking story. English & Arabic, subtitles. 8 p.m.
May 7: A.K.A. Doc Pomus (William Hechter & Peter Miller, 2012). Documentary about the life and career of the Brooklyn-born songwriter. Paralyzed with polio as a child, he reinvented himself first as a blues singer and then as the creator (usually with melodist Mort Shuman) of a string of early rock ’n’ roll classics, from “A Teenager in Love” and “Save the Last Dance for Me” to “This Magic Moment” and “Little Sister.” Followed by a talk by local Jewish Cultural Society educator Larry Kuperman, a lecturer on Jews in rock ’n’ roll. 2 p.m. Yossi (Eytan Fox, 2012). This sequel to Yossi & Jagger finds the Israeli army physician reminiscing about the love of his life, a fellow Israeli army officer who died 10 years earlier, when he encounters a group of young officers, one of whom reignites his romantic feelings. Hebrew, subtitles. 5 p.m. The Day I Saw Your Heart (Jennifer Devoldere, 2011). Comic drama about a 60-year—old man, expecting a baby with his young wife, who tries to repair his relationship with his 2 grown daughters. French, subtitles. 8 p.m.
May 8: Incessant Visions (Duki Dror, 2011). Documentary about the life and work of the influential German Jewish Expressionist architect Erich Mendelsohn. Followed by a talk by U-M Dearborn art history lecturer Jennifer Perlove. 2 p.m. God’s Neighbors (Meny Yaesh, 2012). Drama about 3 Breslov Hasidic men who force their beliefs—sometimes violently—on others. When the group’s leader falls in love he suffers a crisis of faith and must choose between his feelings and his friends. Hebrew, subtitles. 5 p.m. The Other Son (Lorraine Levy, 2012). Drama about 2 young men, one Israeli and one Palestinian, who discover they were switched at birth. Followed by a talk by local psychoanalyst and child development specialist Michael Singer. French, Hebrew, & Arabic; subtitles. 8 p.m.
Various times, Michigan Theater. Tickets $10 (festival pass, $100). 971-0990. [map]