AJFF Recommends: What to Watch in July


We've got our film picks ready for this month. Among our recommendations are several former AJFF picks including our recent AJFF Selects and two films from the 2017 AJFF. 

In Theatres

The Exception
Another AJFF Selects returns to theatres this month. Christopher Plummer, Jai Courtney, and Lily James star in this suspenseful WWII drama, which follows a German soldier sent to track down a British spy, who falls for a young chambermaid with a secret identity. The film is adapted from Alan Judd’s best-selling novel The Kaiser’s Last Kiss.

The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman's Portrait Photography
Elsa Dorfman, a self-described “nice Jewish girl from Boston,” is profiled by her longtime friend and renowned filmmaker, Errol Morris. From her early years in New York City in the late ’50s as a single woman, working as a secretary at the publisher Grove Press, to the beginnings of her friendship with poet Allen Ginsberg, a lifelong friend, a narrative emerges as rich as the subjects Dorfman captured in her life's work.

The Women's Balcony
This comical feminist narrative helmed by first-time filmmaker Emil Ben-Shimon and screenwriter Shlomit Nechama fashions a compassionate portrait of modern Orthodoxy, where unity and love are rekindled by a rebellious and progressive spirit. Nominated for five Israeli Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actor and Actress (Avraham Aviv Alush and Orna Banai) and the Closing Night film for the 2017 AJFF!


Keep Quiet
AJFF audiences may remember this documentary as part of the 2017 AJFF in which a notorious anti-Semite and fascist firebrand, Csanád Szegedi, undergoes an astonishing transformation after finding out he is Jewish, in this provocative examination of spiritual and ideological realignment. The question of whether Szegedi’s story one of genuine epiphany and rectitude or an act of fraud and moral impropriety is one that continues to spark sharp debate.

DVD & Blu-Ray

Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
In this New York Times Critic’s Pick, Richard Gere stars as an incorrigible hustler and compulsive schmoozer, operating on the fringes of Manhattan’s circuit of money and influence. “Gere’s work in Norman is to be treasured,” says the Chicago Sun-Times. “It’s one of the best performances in any movie this year.” Featuring an all-star ensemble that includes Michael Sheen, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Steve Buscemi, Hank Azaria and Israeli Academy Award winner Lior Ashkenazi, Norman is written and directed by Oscar nominee Joseph Cedar.

The Zookeeper's Wife
The film, based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Diane Ackerman, stars two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain in the real-life story of the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, Antonina and Jan Żabiński, who helped save hundreds of Jews during the German invasion of Poland.