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The Boulder Jewish Film Festival

The Boulder Jewish Film Festival returns in March for its seventh year with an outstanding selection of films reflecting multiple aspects of the Jewish experience and representing the best in current world cinema.

We are thrilled to announce our opening night and closing night films – both rousing celebrations of cross-cultural music – as well as our centerpiece and guest tribute.

  • The full schedule is available at boulderjcc.org and thedairy.org.
  • Tickets go on sale to the public on Monday, February 4, and may be purchased online at thedairy.org, at the Dairy box office, and by phone, 303-444-7328.
  • Opening night tickets are available only at boulderjcc.org.
  • Film Sponsors are invited to attend a Sneak Preview Champagne Brunch and enjoy advance ticket sales on Sunday, February 3. To learn more about becoming a sponsor, view our sponsorship benefits and contact Jodi Zicklin at Jodi.Zicklin@boulderjcc.org, or (720) 749-2531. 
  • The 7th BJFF opens March 7, 2019, at the Boulder JCC, with a brand new documentary that played at the Telluride Film Festival.
  • Films continue at the Dairy Arts Center through March 17.

OPENING NIGHT

“It Must Schwing: The Blue Note Story” tells the moving story of two German Jewish refugees who founded Blue Note Records in 1939 and for the next 30 years recorded and befriended all the jazz greats they had idolized back in Germany – where jazz was banned. This musical homage to the harmonizing influence of music details an era when an African-American and Jewish alliance confronted racism in America and changed musical history. Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter, and Quincy Jones express their admiration, gratitude, and love for visionaries Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff, remembering how, as ostracized musicians, they were treated with dignity and humanity by two men who had narrowly escaped the Holocaust to fight for their equality in America. A jazz reception precedes the screening.

 

SPECIAL GUEST TRIBUTE

Changing the way people see Israel and Judaism is the mission of Raphael Shore, who will be honored with a three-film tribute program. A Canadian-Israeli filmmaker, Shore is the founder of Jerusalem U, dedicated to connecting viewers emotionally with the Jewish homeland. His new film about Israel’s innovative solutions to water shortages, “Sustainable Nation,” will be shown Sunday, March 10. “Mekonen: The Journey of an African Jew,” and “When the Smoke Clears: A Story of Brotherhood, Resilience and Hope” will be shown Monday, March 11, with Shore in attendance.

WOMEN OF THE J

Join Women of the J on Tuesday, March 12 for a special screening of “Love, Gilda,” an acclaimed new documentary about Gilda Radner’s brilliant comedy, ebullient personality, marriage to Gene Wilder, and tragic death from cancer at 43.

CENTERPIECE

Yehudis Fishman will be honored at the annual Boulder Jewish Film Festival Centerpiece, which features a screening of “93Queen,” the inspiring new documentary about Ruchie Freier, an Orthodox force of nature who has triumphed over male opposition to achieve her goals.

CLOSING NIGHT GALA MAMBO PARTY

Closing night at the Dairy on March 17 takes viewers back to the glory days of Latin music in America, when urban Jews went wild for the exotic rhythms of tropical lands. “The Mamboniks” revels in those heady days when Jewish and Latino dancers mingled on the dance floors of Miami Beach, the Catskills, and Havana – and pays tribute to a handful of irrepressible seniors still crazy for mambo! Followed by a mambo dance party. 

 

FULL SCHEDULE

It Must Schwing: The Blue Note Story – With ears uniquely attuned to jazz and hearts open to all musicians, two German-Jewish Holocaust refugees popularized American jazz by founding the seminal Blue Note Records label. 

Who Shall Write Our History – Producer Nancy Spielberg and director Roberta Grossman, the team behind “Above and Beyond” (BJFF 2016), return with an inspirational story of humanity and heroism in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Outdoors – As a young Israeli couple build their dream home, the foundation of their marriage begins to crumble, challenging them to find the true meaning of home and to focus on the challenge of building a life together.

The Interpreter  Oscillating between comedy and tragedy, this odd-couple road movie finds two aging men looking for closure from the Holocaust through an unlikely friendship.

The Waldheim Waltz – The astounding story of a former Nazi’s rise to post-war power, and the lies, secrets, and betrayals that led to the incredible injustice.

The Museum – Explore the Israeli soul through the galleries, storerooms, staff, and visitors of Tel Aviv’s astounding Israel Museum, the nation’s most important - and illuminating - cultural institution.

Heading Home: Team Israel – This stirring story of sports, patriotism, and personal growth charts the underdog journey of Israel's national baseball team competing for the first time in the World Baseball Classic.

Scaffolding  A charismatic literature teacher and a strict, working-class father vie for influence over an Israeli teenager, who finds himself torn between the two very different role models.

93Queen – Hasidic women create the first all-female volunteer ambulance corps in New York, led by a female force of nature who defies male authority while respecting tradition.

Sustainable Nation  Discover how three Israeli innovators are taking valuable lessons learned in water-poor Israel to bring clean, safe water to millions of people around the world - from using plants to clean waste water to a computer system that monitors moisture in trees.

When the Smoke Clears: A Story of Brotherhood, Resilience and Hope – Young Israeli soldiers whose injuries leave them fighting for the strength to live finding meaning by reaching out to those in need, discovering that what didn’t kill them really did make them stronger.

Mekonen: The Journey of an African Jew – Once a young shepherd in Africa and now a commander in the Israeli Defense Forces, Mekonen strives to find his place as an African-Israeli Jew defending his new homeland and its liberal values of democracy, freedom, and equality.

Love, Gilda – The irrepressible comedienne’s story is told by Gilda Radner herself, in copious interviews, along with recently discovered interviews and home movies, creating a memorable portrait of a beloved comic genius.

Operation Finale – The capture of Adolph Eichmann (Ben Kingsley) by a team of Mossad agents is superbly depicted in this uncommonly intelligent 2018 Hollywood thriller starring Oscar Isaac.

The Mamboniks – Its Yiddish-inflected title refers to Jews who went crazy for the Cuban fusion of European melodies and African rhythms known as mambo – and are still swaying to the Latin beat.

To Dust Géza Röhrig (Son of Saul) plays a recent widower who forms a clandestine partnership with a community college biology professor (Matthew Broderick) as he struggles to find religious solace while obsessing over the physical process of human decay.

What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael – The preeminent film critic of the 20th century used her influence to shape modern cinema as well as our understanding of it, as revealed in this clip-filled homage to the movies Kael championed.