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At The Movies

This year’s Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival, presented by the Springfield Jewish Community Center, will run from March 28 – April 8.

The annual celebration of award-winning cinema will include an eclectic collection of 21 feature films, documentaries, shorts, and encore programs, with screenings at 16 venues across the three-county region. PVJFF will host filmmakers, musicians, scholars, and community leaders for a variety of post-screening conversations and special events.

“PVJFF has always been a showcase for films from many different cultures and backgrounds,” said Deb Krivoy, Festival Director. “The stories and characters in this year’s lineup are as diverse as ever, and we look forward to providing a truly global perspective on the Jewish experience.”

Ticket prices are $10 for general admission, $9 for students and seniors (65+). Tickets can be purchased online at pvjff.org, by phone at (413) 739-4715, or at the Springfield JCC. Tickets are sold at the door subject to availability.

For more information, visit the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival online at pvjff.org. 

 

A BAG OF MARBLES
Opening Night
THURSDAY, MARCH 28
7 p.m.; Rave Cinemas, West Springfield

The story of two young Jewish brothers in German-occupied France forced to flee their home and make their way to the “free zone” in Southern France.
Festive reception at Rave Cinemas, West Springfield, from 6 – 7 p.m. 

DRAMA | 2017 | 110 MINUTES, FRENCH WITH SUBTITLES

 

CHASING PORTRAITS
FRIDAY, MARCH 29
1:30 p.m.; Davis Auditorium, D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield

Filmmaker Elizabeth Rynecki sets out to find the work of her great-grandfather, artist Moshe Rynecki, which was dispersed all over the world after he died in Madjanek. Q&A with Simon Sibelman, Professor Emeritus of French at the University of Wisconsin. 

DOCUMENTARY | 2018 | 78 MINUTES, ENGLISH 

 

PROMISE AT DAWN
SATURDAY, MARCH 30
7:30 p.m.; Yiddish Book Center, Amherst

The story of novelist Romain Gary from childhood poverty in Poland, to his education in France and exploits as a World War II aviator, seen through the prism of his relationship with his eccentric, domineering mother.

DRAMA | 2018 | 131 MINUTES, ENGLISH, FRENCH, POLISH, AND SPANISH SUBTITLES

 

AN ACT OF DEFIANCE
SUNDAY, MARCH 31
10:30 a.m.; Goldstein Auditorium, Springfield JCC

In 1963, as Nelson Mandela and nine other Blacks and Jews faced a death sentence, their lawyer, Bram Fischer, risked his career and family to expose South Africa’s corrupt system. Filmmaker Jean van de Velde captures a dark period in South Africa’s recent history. Light refreshments served from
9:45 – 10:30 a.m. 

DRAMA | 2018 | 123 MINUTES, AFRIKAANS, ENGLISH, AND ZULU WITH SUBTITLES

 

93QUEEN
SUNDAY, MARCH 31
7 p.m.; Gamble Auditorium, Mount Holyoke College,
South Hadley

The story of Rachel “Ruchie” Frier, a no-nonsense Hasidic lawyer and mother of six, is revolutionizing the role of women by training them to work as EMTs for Ezras Nashim, the first all-female ambulance corps in NYC. Post-screening discussion with Mount Holyoke College faculty. 

DOCUMENTARY | 2018 | 90 MINUTES, ENGLISH

 

A BAG OF MARBLES
MONDAY, APRIL 1

7 p.m. (See March 28 for description), Greenfield Garden Cinemas

 

AND THEN SHE ARRIVED

MONDAY, APRIL 1
7 p.m.; Longmeadow
High School

Dan Freilich, 30, has the perfect job at his father’s law firm, the perfect family, and a perfectly planned wedding to his fiancée. But an encounter with a free-spirited waitress in Jerusalem makes him realize that something was missing – true love.  

ROMANTIC COMEDY | 2017 | 104 MINUTES, HEBREW WITH SUBTITLES

 

ISAAC SINGER’S NIGHTMARE AND MRS. PUPKO’S BEARD with THE MUSES OF ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGER
TUESDAY, APRIL 2
7 p.m.; Yiddish Book Center, Amherst

Isaac Singer’s Nightmare and Mrs. Pupko’s Beard

The thin border between fiction and reality blurs in a short film which combines real-life views of writer Isaac Bashevis Singer in his home with the intrusion of characters from Singer’s stories.
DRAMATIC SHORT | 1973 | 28 MINUTES, ENGLISH

The Muses of Isaac Bashevis Singer

Through archival footage and the intimate recollections of nine women who brought Singer’s stories to life, this documentary sheds light on an eccentric chapter in the unlikely ladies’ man and iconic author’s life.
DOCUMENTARY | 2014 | 72 MINUTES, ENGLISH, HEBREW, AND YIDDISH WITH SUBTITLES, Q&A to follow the screening.

 

WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY
TUESDAY, APRIL 2
7 p.m.; Alumnae Library Theater, Elms College, Chicopee

The story of the Oyneg Shabes, a secret band of Jewish community leaders in the Warsaw Ghetto, who collected and hid Jewish documents and photographs to combat the Nazis’ propaganda. Featuring new interviews and footage, and stunning dramatizations. Post-screening discussion with Elms College faculty. Light refreshments served. 

DOCUMENTARY | 2018 | 95 MINUTES, ENGLISH, YIDDISH AND POLISH WITH SUBTITLES

 

DOUGH
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3
1:30 p.m.; Basketball Hall of Fame, Springfield

Desparate to save his Kosher bakery in London, widower Nat Dayan reluctantly enlists the help of teenager Ayyash, a refugee from Darfur. When Ayyash accidentally drops his stash of marijuana into the mixing dough, the challah starts flying off the shelves and an unlikely friendship forms.

COMEDY | 2015 | 94 MINUTES, ENGLISH

 

AND THEN SHE ARRIVED
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3
7 p.m. (See April 1 for description)
Greenfield Garden Cinemas, Greenfield

 

AN ACT OF DEFIANCE
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3
7:30 p.m. (See March 31 for description)
Flavin Auditorium, UMass, Amherst

Introduction and post-screening Q&A with Stephen Clingman, Distinguished Professor of English, UMass Amherst.

 

THE INVISIBLES
THURSDAY, APRIL 4
4 p.m.; Stirn Auditorium,
Amherst College

In June 1943, the German government declared Berlin “judenfrei” – free of Jews. But there were still 7,000 Jews living in hiding.  Only 1,700 survived, thanks to sheer luck and the decency of fellow Germans brave enough to protect them. Q&A with Christian Rogowski, Professor of European Studies and German, Amherst College.

DOCUDRAMA | 2017 | 110 MINUTES, GERMAN WITH SUBTITLES 

 

SHOELACES
THURSDAY, APRIL 4
7 p.m.; MGM Regal Cinemas, Springfield

After Reuven reluctantly takes in his adult special-needs son, Gadi, after his ex-wife’s untimely death, his world turns upside-down. But as he discovers the responsibility and affection of parenthood and vows to make up for his past shortcomings. 

Introduction by Kelley St. Clair, Director of Early Learning Learning, Tate Behavioral

DRAMA | 2018 | 98 MINUTES, HEBREW WITH SUBTITLES 

 

CHASING PORTAITS
FRIDAY, APRIL 5
1:30 p.m. (See March 29 for description)
Northampton Center for the Arts

 

ITZHAK
FRIDAY, APRIL 5
1:30 p.m.; Glenmeadow Retirement, Longmeadow

Alison Chernick’s film takes a look at violinist Itzhak Perlman, the polio survivor whose parents emigrated from Poland to Israel, and who struggled to be taken seriously when music schools saw only his disability. 

DOCUMENTARY | 2017 | 82 MINUTES, ENGLISH AND HEBREW WITH SUBTITLES

 

HEADING HOME: THE TALE OF TEAM ISRAEL
SATURDAY, APRIL 6
8 p.m.; Basketball Hall of Fame, Springfield

The story of the underdog journey of Israel’s national baseball team competing for the first time in the World Baseball Classic in 2017 after years of defeat. 

DOCUMENTARY | 2018 | 87 MINUTES, ENGLISH

 

LEFT LUGGAGE
SATURDAY, APRIL 6
7:30 p.m.; Pothole Pictures, Memorial Hall, Shelburne Falls

The story of Chaya, a 20-year-old daughter of Holocaust survivors and philosophy student in 1970s Belgium. When she becomes a nanny for a Hasidic family, her developing relationship with the devout mother forces her to reevaluate the Jewish faith. 

Live music at 7 p.m.

DRAMA | 1998 | 100 MINUTES, ENGLISH, HEBREW, AND YIDDISH WITH SUBTITLES

 

SHORT FILM SHOWCASE
SUNDAY, APRIL 7,
2 p.m.; Yiddish Book Center, Amherst

A program of four short films, hand-picked by the PVJFF.
Light buffet lunch from 1:15 – 2 p.m.

The Chop
Unable to fine a job, young butcher Yossi decides to pretend that he’s Muslim in order to work at a Halal butcher shop. Can he keep his job while also keeping his Jewish identity intact?

Egg Cream
This bubbling screening offers a sweet look at the memory, history, and enduring meaning of a beloved, chocolate soda drink, born in Jewish immigrant neighborhoods at the turn of the 20th century.

Gefilte
A heartwarming tribute to Jewish traditions and the joyous bond of family and food.

Wendy’s Shabbat
Friends in a retirement community usher in Shabbat with candles, challah, and grape juice at a local fast-food restaurant. 

 

FIG TREE
SUNDAY, APRIL 7
7 p.m.; Northampton Center
for the Arts

During the Ethiopian Civil War, 17-year-old Mina’s Christian boyfriends hides in a nearby fig tree to avoid abduction by the military junta, while Mina hatches a scheme to save Eli as her family plans their escape to Israel, where the children’s mother awaits.

DRAMA | 2018 | 93 MINUTES, AMHARIC AND HEBREW WITH SUBTITLES

 

THE CAKEMAKER
MONDAY, APRIL 8
7 p.m.; Amherst Cinema, Amherst

Thomas, a Berlin baker, starts an affair with Oran, a Jerusalem businessman. When Oran dies, Thomas helps Oran’s grieving family and his own broken heart by offering his baking expertise to Oran’s widow Anat, who owns a struggling café. Mature audiences (subject matter).

DRAMA | 2017 | 113 MINUTES, ENGLISH, HEBREW, AND GERMAN WITH SUBTITLES

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