South Floridians are invited to commemorate U.N. Holocaust Memorial Day on Sunday, Jan. 27, with specially selected screenings at the Cosford Cinema UM Coral Gables.
Ellen Wedner, director of the Miami Jewish Film Festival, has chosen features and documentaries that enlighten and provide untold stories about a horrific time in world history.
The films include Besa: The Promise (1 p.m.), a true story about Albanian Muslims who hid Jews during World War II. Not only did these kind people open their homes to strangers at great risk to their own well-being, but also gave their sacred oath, the ancient besa, to protect them and their sacred texts.
The Last Flight of Petr Ginz (3:15 p.m.) The story of Petr Ginz was largely unknown until the ill-fated Space Shuttle Columbia carried the boy’s artwork on board. Born in Czechoslovakia, Ginz was a child prodigy who perished at Auschwitz. This inspiring film reveals how his writings and illustrations captured the inhumanities of war with maturity, objectivity and humor.
Foreign Letters (5:45 p.m.) is a bittersweet coming-of-age story and a love letter to the unshakeable bond of friendship. Set in the pre-email era of the 1980s, young Ellie, newly arrived to the U.S. from Israel, awaits letters from her best friend back home. Homesick, suffering from the challenges of learning a new language and rejection at school, Ellie’s life begins to brighten when she meets a Vietnamese refugee her age.
The film is based on the director’s personal immigration experience.
The producers of Europa Europa present the German drama Child Prodigies, Wunderkinder (8:30 p.m.) told from a child’s point of view. With the onset of WWII, the friendship of three musical prodigies is tested as they deal with differences of religion and nationality. The children’s Jewish and German families must decide if they will save each other from the forces of both fascism and communism when the Nazis invade the Soviet Union.
Throughout the 10-day festival, films are screened at the Frank Theaters at Intracoastal Mall in North Miami Beach, the Colony Theater and the Regal Cinema South Beach 18 in Miami Beach. For complete movie listings and to purchase tickets log on to <www.miamijewishfilmfestival. com> or call 1-888-585-FILM.
Tickets for the Miami Jewish Film Festival, except for opening and closing nights, are $12.50 for general admission; $10.50 for seniors/students; $8.50 for Film Society members. A $160 Fast Pass provides entry into all films. Film Society members receive discounts on tickets and fast passes and advance festival ordering.