When Hitler stole the Pink Rabbit adaptation among Jewish film festival highlights
Working closely with the corresponding festival organizers across Tasman, film distributors Kiwi Vendetta Films have established an International Jewish Film Festival.
Showing six recent Israeli and Jewish themed films, it will screen in theaters in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, New Plymouth and Wellington over the next month.
Things to watch had the opportunity to preview a trio of great titles on offer.
* British film critic’s scathing review of Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit
* Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit wins Best Gong at Toronto Film Festival
* Taika Waititi didn’t want Jojo Rabbit to be a sad Holocaust movie. So he added Adolf Hitler
* Jojo Rabbit director Taika Waititi thinks it’s weird to dress up as Hitler
When Hitler stole the pink rabbit
While the title may draw some obvious comparisons to Taika Waititi’s Oscar-winning effort, it’s actually based on Judith Kerr’s much-loved, barely-fictionalized 1971 book, which was inspired by her own childhood.
As in the novel, the action takes place long before WWII, with nine-year-old Anna Kemper (Riva Krymalowski) plunged into chaos by the prospect of Adolf Hitler’s victory in the German election of 1933. Review Outraged by the newly appointed German Chancellor through his columns and radio broadcasts, Anna’s father Arthur (Oliver Massuci) had previously fled to Switzerland and the rest of the family have now been advised to do the same. But necessarily wrapping lightly, means leaving behind most of Anna’s beloved toys, including her darling pink bunny. As she adjusts to life in a foreign country, she knows that even there their safety is not guaranteed.
Nowhere in Africa Director Caroline Link does a terrific job of bringing this family drama to life, never refreshingly and artfully presenting the growing Nazi threat to their lives in any form. Instead, we stay focused on the Kempers, and in particular Anna, bringing up memories of Steven Spielberg. Empire of the Sun or The boy in the striped pajamas.
Arrived with eerily perfect timing, Yaron Zilberman’s 2019 film is not only a crisp psychological and political thriller, but also a sort of quasi-sequel to the SoHo and Neon drama. Oslo.
Set in the aftermath of the initial signing of the Oslo Accords, agreements concluded by the Israeli authorities and the Palestine Liberation Organization in an attempt to end the cycle of violence between their peoples, it follows the law student from the Bar-Ilan Yigal Amir University (a convincing Yehuda Nahari Halevi), as he grows increasingly disillusioned with his government’s “betrayal” of its people. Fueled by religious rhetoric asserting that the death of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin would be justified by “Jewish law,” Amir hatches an assassination plan.
Recalling the films of Paul Greengrass (United 93, 22nd of July), Zilberman skillfully downplays and keeps the drama intimate, while also mixing in real-life archival footage of Rabin and other important characters, before delivering a few chilling final moments.
Famous 1981 British football fans meet WWII Escape to victory, should discover this American-Croatian co-production. Essentially a remake of the 1961 Hungarian drama Two halves in hell (which was also the inspiration for Victory), it details a match between a group of Hungarian prisoners of war and a hand-picked German team eager to avenge the country’s defeat to the Magyars in preparation for the Berlin Olympics in 1936.
While the drama follows predictable paces, the actors really sell the story (if not always the football action), no surprise given that their ranks include Danish actor Caspar Phillipson, Italian legend Franco Nero, the Former Hollywood star Armand Assante and Australian striker Mark Viduka.
The Match is inspired by real events from 1944.
Winner of three awards at the Tribeca Film Festival last year, this Israeli drama focuses on the relationship between a nurse and her teenage daughter. When the latter’s health deteriorates rapidly, the couple must bond at a level that they have managed to do before.
“[Debutant director Ruthy] Pribar’s heartbreaking human drama is beautifully photographed and performed; an affectionate, warm and even sexy film about death and death which is full of life ”, wrote on Los Angeles Times‘Katie Walsh.
You won’t hate
Surgeon and son of Holocaust survivor finally begins to doubt the ethics of his actions as he refuses to help a traffic accident victim he encountered on his way home from work in this Italian drama of 2020. Several times winner of the Venice Film Festival last year.
“Powerful and deeply stimulating…[Mauro Mancini’s movie] looks like a spiritual parable for our modern era ”, wrote In the seats’ Steve norton.
They call me Dr Miami
In a serious change of pace from the rest of the lineup, this 2020 Canadian documentary takes a look at one of America’s most famous plastic surgeons. Dr Michael Salzhauer was reportedly the first doctor to live stream tummy tucks and breast augmentation on platforms like Snapchat.
“The runtime of 77 minutes is enough to take on Dr. Miami’s self-centeredness and the sexist atmosphere that surrounds his work,” wrote Original Cin’s Linda barnard. “Yet the dichotomy between the public and the private is fascinating.
The Jewish International Film Festival will be screened in cinemas in Auckland, New Plymouth, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin between July 22 and August 15. For more information and session times, see jiff.co.nz
The incitement follows the year before the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.