Former AJFF picks, a cinema classic, a comedy and a thriller make up this month's edition.
Sword of Trust
Comedian and podcaster Marc Maron stars as a cantankerous Jewish pawn shop owner who, with his team of misfits, attempts to sell a Civil War-era sword. It’s claimed that the sword, which comes with a backwards history, is proof that the South won the war. Before long, excited conspiracy theorists are clamoring for the sword in this well-reviewed improv comedy.
Video on Demand
Ask Dr. Ruth
Recently programmed as part of AJFF Selects, this heartfelt, crowd-pleasing biography profiles Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the diminutive Holocaust survivor who became America's most famous sex therapist. AJFF was fortunate to feature a post-film Q&A with Dr. Ruth's daughter, Miriam Westheimer.
This 1972 classic about a love triangle falling apart against the rise of the Nazi party and the collapse of the Weimar Republic won 8 Academy Awards. The film is based on the 1966 Broadway musical Cabaret by Kander and Ebb, which was adapted from the novel The Berlin Stories / Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood and the 1951 play I Am a Camera adapted from the eponymous book. In 1995, the film was the ninth live-action musical film selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
Besieged by evil invaders as the plague descends on Eastern Europe, a mystical woman versed in Kabbalah summons forth a Golem to protect her 17th century Lithuanian village, in this supernatural legend of Jewish folklore smartly reimagined as a meticulously crafted horror-suspense tale. Audiences may remember the film, featured in the 2019 AJFF.
AJFF featured the film in the 2019 AJFF and was fortunate enough to host writer and director, Amanda Sthers as well Rosanna Arquette, who starred in the film. The narrative follows James Caan as a retired American cardiologist who leaves everything behind to become a pig farmer in Israel. Directly adapted from Sthers own book into a wry, moving, personal tale of a dysfunctional family striving for reconciliation and acceptance.
The Lavender Scare
This former AJFF Selects shines a light on a shameful chapter of American history. The Lavender Scare is the first in-depth account of a ruthless Cold War campaign to purge homosexuals from the Federal government. Directed by Emmy-winning 60 Minutes producer Josh Howard and based on the formative book by historian David K. Johnson, The Lavender Scare captures the outrage and activism that helped ignite the modern gay rights movement.
Blu-Ray & DVD
Based on Anna Segher’s 1942 novel Transit Visa, the film translates to the present the original story of Georg, a German refugee, who flees to Marseille assuming the identity of a recently deceased writer whose papers he is carrying, in what the A.V. Club calls a "brilliantly baffling refugee thriller."