The Brooklyn Israel Film Festival at Kane Street Synagogue will mark its eighth year celebrating Israeli film next weekend. The festival is a major venue for some of the best films being made in Israel.
The 2012 festival again features three nights of award-winning films, thought-provoking films, plus discussions with their filmmakers. It runs Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 26 through Jan. 29, in the intimate and historic synagogue setting.
The festival kicks off the first night at 8 p.m. with The Debt. Filmed on in Tel Aviv, the U.K., and Budapest, the espionage thriller is directed by Academy Award nominee John Madden (Shakespeare in Love). The story begins in 1997, as shocking news reaches retired Mossad secret agents Rachel (played by Academy Award winner Helen Mirren) and Stephan (two-time Academy Award nominee Tom Wilkinson) about their former colleague David (Ciarán Hinds of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy). All three have been venerated for decades by Israel because of the secret mission that they embarked on for their country back in 1965-1966, when the trio (portrayed, respectively, by Jessica Chastain [The Help], Marton Csokas [The Lord of the Rings], and Sam Worthington [Avatar]) tracked down Nazi war criminal Dieter Vogel (Casino Royale), the feared Surgeon of Birkenau, in East Berlin.
While Rachel found herself grappling with romantic feelings during the mission, the net around Vogel was tightened by using her as bait.
The screenplay, by Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman and Peter Straughan, is adapted from the 2007 Israeli film Ha-Hov (The Debt). An opening night reception will follow the screening.
On Saturday, Jan. 28, the festival continues at 8 p.m. with Restoration, an intimate drama. After the death of his partner, an elderly furniture restorer (The Band’s Visit) tries to hold on to his failing business against his son’s wishes. Winner of Best Feature Film in the 2011 Jerusalem Film Festival and the World Cinema Screenwriting Award at Sundance, this film unravels the past and present with quiet emotional power.
On the last evening, Jan. 29, at 7 p.m. Dolphin Boy will be screened, which documents the devastating effects of violence and the healing power of nature and love. An Israeli Arab teenager who was brutally beaten is unresponsive to treatment, so his devoted father and doctor try a novel form of therapy.
The film, 2011 Winner of the Jerusalem Film Festival’s Jury Mention Award, will be followed by a Q&A featuring writer-director-co-producer Dani Menkin and co-producer Judith Manassen-Ramon.
Tickets are $12 per film or $30 for the entire series of three films and can be purchased at www.kanestreet.org/IFF. Kane Street Synagogue is at 236 Kane St.
January 18, 2012 - 1:12pm