Spring 2024 Festival

The dates for the screenings are January 31 – March 6. (Every Wednesday). All movies will be screened at the Wesleyan University Center for Film Studies, at the Jeanine Basinger Center for Film Studies in the Goldsmith Family Cinema, 301 Washington Terrace, Middletown, CT at 8pm.

Free Admission. On site parking.

The Festival is organized by Dalit Katz, University Professor of Jewish Studies and Director of the Center for Jewish Studies at Wesleyan University. It is sponsored by the Ring Family, the Center for Jewish Studies, and co-sponsored by the College of Film and the Moving Image.

The Monkey House
(January 31, 8:00 p.m.) 
Speaker: Michael Slowik, Associate Professor of Film Studies, Wesleyan University
Directed by: Avi Nesher, 2022  
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Amir Haddad, a filmmaker, stumbles upon a complex scam, concocted by a novelist, Amitai Kariv and Margo Mai, a young woman who is ghost writing Kariv’s biography. Haddad considers this encounter fodder for a docu-thriller, one that features much passion and deceit. Kariv, not a nemesis to be taken lightly, takes exception to Haddad’s investigation. Margo Mai seems to be playing on both sides. Hostilities ensue. When narratives collide, truth is an immediate victim.


The Future
(February 7, 8:00 p.m.) 
Speaker: Marc Longenecker, Associate Professor of the Practice in Film Studies, Wesleyan University
Directed by Noam Kaplan, 2023        
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When Israel’s Minister of Space and Tourism is murdered in the lead-up to the country’s first mission to the moon, Yaffa (Samar Qupty), an Arab university student from the West Bank, confesses to the murder. Scientist Nurit (Reymond Amsalem) asks for permission to interview the assassin. As the pioneer of The Future Project, an algorithm-based program meant to predict acts of terrorism, Nurit is convinced that the unrepentant Yaffa is withholding her whole motivation. The two women face off, determined to give nothing away, over a potentially fraught series of encounters. As the truth is exposed — and the spacecraft carrying a nation’s dreams nears its destination — an increasingly disillusioned Nurit inches towards a profoundly troubling realization.


The Other Widow
(February 14, 8:00 p.m.)
Director’s Talk: Ma’ayan Rypp
Directed by Ma’ayan Rypp, 2023
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A dark comedic drama about Ella, a 34-year-old theater dresser and mistress, who experiences the sudden death of her lover. She attends his Shivah (a Jewish mourning ritual) while keeping her identity under wraps and dives into a world once forbidden to her. Through intimate encounters with his brother, parents, and, most especially, his wife, she examines her place in his life and eventually demands her legitimate right to mourn.


Elik & Jimmy
(February 21, 8:00 p.m.) 
Director’s Talk: A taped interview between Avner Shavit and Gudis Schneider
Directed by Gudis Schneider, 2022
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Jimmy and Elik meet while serving in the army, just before completing their service. He is an overweight and witty corporal; she is a beautiful and smart officer and they both like to talk. They run into each other through the years in cities, over Facebook, and such, but only a decade later, when they’re both 30 plus, after a few life lessons, do they really become friends. Everything is going well between them, until love gets in the mix.


Golda (February 28, 8:00 p.m.) 
Speaker: Peter Rutland, Professor of Government, Wesleyan University
Directed by Guy Nattiv, 2023
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Israeli only female prime minister, Golda Meir, struggled to fight for her people and restore peace to her nation, facing difficult decisions and overwhelming responsibilities during the Yom Kippur War in 1973 in which Israel fought a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria.

Seven Blessings (March 6, 8:00 p.m.)
Film Producer’s Talk: Ronen Ben Tal
Directed by Ayelet Menahemi, 2022
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At the center of “Seven Blessings” is a boisterous, drama-filled, Moroccan family, with numerous members speaking multiple languages (Hebrew, Moroccan, French). Hidden behind the facade of joie de vivre and togetherness, however, are secrets, lies, and a painful old wound from the past regarding a common practice among Jewish families in Morocco.