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Film

Supernova — A Poignant, Heart-Felt Movie

Two old friends and lovers, Sam and Tusker, are on a road trip in Britain’s scenic and idyllic Lake District. They’re on perhaps the last holiday they’ll ever spend together. Sam (Colin Firth) and Tusker (Stanley Tucci) are the central characters in Harry Macqueen’s poignant movie, Supernova, which opens on VOD platforms on February 16. […]

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Film

Dear Comrades!

Russia’s Academy Award submission this year in the category of best foreign film, Dear Comrades!, is a taut political drama that delves into the overlapping themes of faith, corruption and disillusionment. Opening in Toronto at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on February 5, Andrei Konchalovsky’s gritty black-and-white movie unfolds in Novocherkaask, a small provincial town in […]

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Film

Two Of Us

Nina and Madeleine live in separate apartments across the hall from each other, but they’re more than merely neighbors. They’re lovers who’ve managed to keep their lesbian relationship secret all these years. Nina (Barbara Sukowa) and Madeleine (Martine Chevallier) are the central fugues in Filippo Meneghetti’s poignant romantic French-language drama, which will be available on […]

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Film

The Story Of Wilfrid Israel

Wilfrid Israel, a wealthy businessman, saved thousands of Jews in Nazi Germany and was instrumental in the founding of Kibbutz Hazorea. But for many years, he was an unsung hero, and to the consternation of Israeli filmmaker Yonatan Nir, not a single street in Israel has been named after this heroic figure. Nir, who was […]

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Film

An Absorbing Psychological Drama

Lili Horvat’s Hungarian-language feature film, Preparations To Be Together For An Unknown Period Of Time, is weighed down by a clunky title, but is blessed with a magnetic story line. An absorbing psychological drama teetering between reality and delusion, it opens digitally at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto on January 22 and in the rest […]

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Film

A Cinematic Portrait Of An Israeli Conscientious Objector

Molly Stuart’s 75-minute documentary, Objector, kicks off the ninth annual Human Rights Film Festival in Toronto, which runs online from December 3-10. Atalya Ben-Abba, a 19-year-old Israeli conscientious objector from Jerusalem, is at the center of this film, which begins six months before she’s due to be inducted into the army. Atalya grew up thinking […]

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Film

The Last Vermeer

Dan Friedkin’s The Last Vermeer unfolds in Amsterdam after World War II as liberated Holland comes to terms with the legacy of the brutal five-year German occupation. Based on a true story heightened by astonishing twists and turns, this vivid drama grapples with a maze of interrelated issues ranging from Nazi-looted art to Holland’s conduct under […]

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Film

Birth Right — An Israeli Short Film About Identity

Thousands  of young Jewish men and women from all walks of life and countries visit Israel every year free of charge thanks to the Birthright program. Inbar Horesh’s Israeli short film, Birth Right, explores it from a singularly Russian angle. Currently being screened online at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, it unfolds over the course […]

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Film

Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat Sequel Falls Short

I missed Sacha Baron Cohen’s first Borat film, so I have no way of comparing it to the sequel, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which was released late last week. Judged on its own merits, the second one is sophomoric. With the exception of a few punchy scenes, I watched it with a straight face, disappointed by […]

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Film

Ma’abarot: The Israeli Transit Camps

Seven hundred thousand Jewish immigrants poured into Israel during its first years statehood, straining its relatively limited absorption capacity. Yet immigration was one of the key priorities of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, after the 1948 War of Liberation. Approximately one-third of the newcomers were sent to abandoned British army bases. These rudimentary transit camps, […]