The 15th annual Jewish Film Festival opens Saturday with “My Best Enemy,” an Austrian Holocaust thriller about two best friends who switch identities to recover a priceless work of art. The Jewish Community Center produces the annual festival to explore in film the complexities of Jewish culture and what it means to be Jewish in the modern era.
Films will be screened in various venues around Louisville, including the Muhammad Ali Center, The Temple, and Village 8 Theater, through February 21.
On Sunday, Feb. 10, the festival will screen “A Bottle in the Gaza Sea” at the Muhammad Ali Center. The film tells the story an interfaith friendship that blossoms between an Israeli woman and a Palestinian teen in the wake of a terrorist attack.
Festival director Marsha Bornstein says screening the film at the Ali Center is part of a strategy to expand the festival’s audience.
“We want to get this festival known throughout the entire Louisville community, not just the Jewish community,” she says. “By partnering with the Ali Center, it was a perfect match.”
A discussion on interfaith issues moderated by Rabbi Joe Rooks Rapport will follow.
Another film in the lineup is “Hava Nagila,” a documentary about the traditional Jewish folk song’s history. Louisville Klezmer band Lost Tribe will perform after the screening on February 17. “Hava Nagila” follows the song from the schtetls of Eastern Europe to Israel and America.
“And it’s fun,” says Bornstein. “We feel like when people finish watching it they’re going to want to get up and dance, and that’s why we’ve got the Klezmer band.”
Watch the film’s trailer:
Visit the Jewish Community Center’s site for a full schedule and descriptions of each film in the festival.