New Israeli Cinema

The Denver Film Society and the Mizel Museum present the second annual New Israeli Cinema film series. With the latest in the world of film from Israel, the series promises to engage and entertain from one of the world’s most vibrant, prolific and expanding cinematic traditions.

The New Israeli Cinema series is sponsored by:

Films begin at 7:00pm and will be followed by Q&A sessions.

CLICK HERE for sponsorship opportunities.

July 3 | The Queen Has No Crown | Heymann Brothers Films

The Queen Has No Crown is a documentary film of Tomer Heymann’s that navigates the intimate lives of five brothers and their mother, as they experience the pains of exile and the joys of family bonding. Three of the Heymann sons take their families and leave Israel, one after the other, for “better” lives in America. They fulfill their dreams, but shatter those of their mother. A divorcee, she is left alone in Israel with her two bachelor sons — one straight, and the other, Tomer, gay. Exploring the politics of belonging, displacement, and sexuality, throughout, Tomer frames this quest in terms of its greater social and political significance: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, tensions between Israel’s Arabs and Jews, its secular and ultra-orthodox citizens, and the struggle for gay/human rights. Combining 8 and 16mm footage with his own work of a decade, shows how the strength of the Heymann Family depends on forces greater than the nuclear family itself. 82 minutes/Hebrew and English with English subtitles. Q&A following the film facilitated by Sarah Pessin, Director of Center for Judaic Studies and Professor of Philosophy and Jewish Thought, University of Denver.

July 10 | Sharqiya | Directed by Ami Livne

Sharqiya is a film that highlights the complexities of Bedouin communities living in Israel. Kamel lives with his brother and sister-in law at the edge of the Negev desert on land that has been in their Bedouin family since the Ottoman Empire. But since they have no paperwork to prove their ownership, their claim is disputed by the Israeli government. Denying access to water and electricity, state officials eventually hand down an order for demolition of the family’s few small shacks. Kamel, a veteran of the Israeli army, now serves as a security guard at a central bus station. When they try to appeal the demolition order, even the Bedouin Authority office advises them to accept compensation and abandon their land. The situation seems hopeless, until Kamel comes up with a plan. Filmed on location with nonprofessional actors, this extremely well crafted debut from Ami Livne tells its story with rare and quiet power. 82 minutes/Arabic, Hebrew with English subtitles. Q&A following the film facilitated by Robert Hazan, Ph. D., Chair of Political Science, Metropolitan State College of Denver.

July 17 | The Flat | Directed by Arnon Goldfinger

The Flat is the fascinating and award-winning documentary on the discoveries Filmmaker Arnon Goldfinger makes about his maternal grandparents while cleaning out their Tel Aviv apartment. “The flat on the third floor of a Bauhaus building in Tel Aviv was where my grandparents lived since they immigrated to Palestine in the 1930’s. Were it not for the view from the windows, one might have thought that the flat was in Berlin. When my grandmother passed away at the age of 98 we were called to the flat to clear out what was left. Objects, pictures, letters and documents awaited us, revealing traces of a troubled and unknown past. The film, which begins with the emptying out of a flat, develops into a riveting adventure, involving unexpected national interests, a friendship that crosses enemy lines, and deeply repressed family emotions. And even reveals some secrets that should have probably remained untold.” – Arnon Goldfinger 97 minutes/ Hebrew and German with English subtitles. Q&A following the film facilitated by Amir Peleg, Historian of the Holocaust and Holocaust Consciousness Israel.

July 24 | My Lovely Sister | Directed by Marco Carmel

Marco Carmel’s My Lovely Sister is a charming and beautifully acted film about the love and hate between two sisters, based on a Moroccan Jewish (Mizrahi) folk tale. The film is infused with a whimsical, supernatural component that elevates the content. It’s also, in a sly way, a pointedly political film about an issue that is generally taboo in Israeli society. While this is not a preachy film about intermarriage and assimilation, it does deal with a real question that complicates Israeli life: What happens when Jews and Arabs become close enough to fall in love? The film received 11 nominations for Ophir Awards (the Israeli Oscars), including Best Picture. 91 minutes, Hebrew and Moroccan with English subtitles. Q&A following the film facilitated by Michal Peleg-Uziyahu, Israel shlichah (emissary) to the Jewish community of Colorado.

July 31 | Room 514 | Directed by Sharon Bar-Ziv | Sponsored by IsArt/Sharon & Gadi Eisner

When a young, idealistic Israeli military investigator confronts an elite soldier with accusations of unnecessary violence against a Palestinian man in the Occupied Territories, her integrity and determination are put to the test as the case proves less black and white than it originally seemed. Taking a stand against a perceived abuse of power in spite of her colleagues’ advice to back off because of the political complexities of the case, her increasingly zealous quest for justice ends up having far-reaching consequences for everyone involved.  The titular interrogation room—where the majority of the film is set—stands in for a microcosm of contemporary Israel, with the limited setting also serving to highlight the superb dramatic turns by lead actors Asia Neifeld, Guy Kapulnik, and Udi Persi. Inspired by real events, director Sharon Bar-Ziv’s debut feature is a gritty minimalist drama that provides a raw, direct look at the psyche of a generation of young Israelis shaped by the effects of the ongoing conflict. The film has received special jury mention in the Best New Narrative Director category at the Tribeca Film Festival 2012. 90 minutes/Hebrew with English subtitles. Q&A following the film facilitated by Adam Rovner, Professor of  English and Jewish Literature, University of Denver.

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Questions? Email Georgina Kolber or call 303-749-5014.