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Sarasota Film Festival 2007

#"/Online Dailies Coverage of the 9th annual Sarasota Film Festival, April 13-22, 2007.


Emerging Jewish Voices


Monday, April 17-----One of the best attended sidebars of the Sarasota Film Festival is its Emerging Jewish Voices program, featuring a diverse group of Jewish-themed films that provide a contemplative and suggestive look at the re-examination of Jewish history and a sense of what is important to contemporary Jewish culture.  

The Jewish community is particularly mindful of keeping its history, both tragic and transecendent, alive in the hearts and minds of its members. This sentiment reaches its ultimate expression in the filmed version of the Broadway musical smash FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, screening as part of the Tribute to director Norman Jewison (more on this later in the week). Israeli actor Topol takes on the role of originated by Zero Mostel on the Broadway stage....of a poor milkman in a small Russian shtetl whose world changes with the turn of the last century.

The rich culture of pre-War War II Vilna is documented in THE WORLD WAS OURS, a unique documentary on the vibrant community that existed in this "Jerusalem of Lithuania", which was devastated of its centuries-old Jewish culture in a matter of a few years. The Holocaust, that defining event in the recent history of the Jewish community, is represented with the films THE BUCHENWALD BALL, chronicling the stories of survivors of that infamous concentration camp who come together to celebrate their survival in the face of certain death, and THE RAPE OF EUROPA, a rich chronicle of the plunder by the Nazis of the artistic heritage of its Jewish victims.

The post-war Jewish American heritage is represented by 51 BIRCH STREET, by Festival Documentary juror Doug Block, a personal journey into the heart of his parents' troubled marriage. The continuing tussle of loyalties inherent in the Middle East are richly conveyed in the documentary films NEWS FROM HOME/NEWS FROM HOUSE and the dramatic features SWEET MUD (a prize winner at Sundance) and MELANOMA MY LOVE. The Festival presents a rich tapestry of voices that continue to enrich and diversify the Jewish cultural experience.

Sandy Mandelberger, Sarasota FF Online Dailies Editor

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About Sarasota Film Festival 2007

Online Dailies Coverage of the 9th annual Sarasota Film Festival, April 13-22, 2007.

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