The UK Jewish Film Festival 2023 takes place in Manchester from 9th to 23rd November all over the city, with a selection of films available online from 20th to 27th November too.
The Shadow of the Day | Cineworld Parrs Wood
9th November | 7pm
A dramatic and tense love story set in the picturesque Italian town of Ascoli Piceno where wounded World War One veteran Luciano observes the world through the windows of his elegant restaurant and believes that he can live life according to his own rules despite the encroaching darkness of Mussolini’s fascism. Set in 1938, two years before Italy entered World War Two, the tension builds as one by one individual freedoms are restricted. When Anna arrives in the town and begs for employment, it becomes clear that there is more to her story than she has admitted.
Less Than Kosher | HOME 11th November | 8:40pm
Thirty-year-old Viv is a self-proclaimed Bad Jew who loves to get high, eat bacon, and snack on Yom Kippur. Back at her parents’ basement with nothing to do but contemplate her once promising, now stalled music career, she reluctantly agrees to take a cantor job at her local shul. Her stint at the synagogue soon proves to be her most adventurous phase yet: with an illicit affair with the rabbi’s married son and an overnight TikTok success, Viv manages to maintain her reputation for being a lousy Jew while giving her parents some long overdue nachas.
Savoy | Curzon Knutsford | 12th November | 5:30pm
On the night of 4th March 1975, eight Palestinian terrorists commandeered the Savoy Hotel in Tel Aviv, taking most of the guests and staff members hostage. One of the guests, 31-year-old Arabic speaker Kohava Levi, courageously tried to save lives by assisting with the negotiations between the terrorists and the Israeli forces. But instead of being celebrated for her heroism, Levy, a married woman who checked in at the hotel with her lover, was mistaken for a prostitute and ridiculed by the media.
The Devils’ Confession: The Lost Eichman Tapes + Q&A Cineworld Parrs Wood | 14th November | 7:00pm
At his trial in 1961, Adolf Eichmann’s intention was to come across as an uncharismatic clerk and to downplay his role in managing the mass deportation of Jews. But only four year earlier, Eichmann spoke freely and boastfully – in a series of taped conversations with Dutch Nazi journalist Willem Sassen – of the idealistic fervour that made him excel at his job. The transcripts of the recordings played a crucial part in Eichmann’s trial but the whereabouts of the tapes remained unknown for years.
Matchmaking | Cineworld Parrs Wood | 15th November | 7:00pm
On the face of it, young yeshiva bocher Moti and his little sister’s best friend Nehami are the perfect match – they share the same values, have known each other for years, and most importantly, they are in love. There is just one little problem: Moti is Ashkenazi and Nehami is Sephardi, and in the ultra-Orthodox city in which they live, such a shidduch is strictly prohibited. Going against the wishes of his meddling parents and a nosy matchmaker, Moti comes up with a genius if risky plan to marry Nehami.
The Narrow Bridge | Curzon Knutsford | 16th November | 6:45pm
How can the sharp pain of grief turn into a bridge of hope and reconciliation? This immensely moving documentary follows four courageous and inspiring people: Israeli Meytal and Rami, and Palestinians Bushra and Bassam. Each of them lost a loved one – a child or a parent – to the bloody conflict between their nations. But instead of harbouring hatred, which only fuels the ceaseless cycle of violence, they have become peace activists.
March 1968 | HOME | 19th November | 3:00pm
Warsaw, March 1968. Amid social unrest and violent demonstrations against the Polish government, two students, Hania and Janek, meet and fall madly in love. However, coming from families with opposing political views – Janek’s father is a senior government official whereas Vanessa’s Jewish father, having been accused of siding with the Zionist state, was forced to leave his job as a surgeon – means that their relationship cannot possibly flourish.
The Camera of Doctor Morris + Q&A Curzon Knutsford| 19th November | 5:30pm
Israel, 1950s. British newlyweds Fay and Reginald Morris visit Eilat, the country’s southernmost city, and instantly fall in love with the place. They decide to settle there and integrate fully into their new community while maintaining their English way of life. Over the next decades, Reginald, a beloved medical doctor, would obsessively document the life of his family with an 8mm camera – capturing precious moments of unalloyed joy alongside others of profound sadness and loss.
British Jewish Life on Film: Manchester + Q&A | HOME | 20th November | 8:30pm
Experience the premiere of The Last Cowboy in Salford together with seven brand new short films reflecting and celebrating British- Jewish life, commissioned by UK Jewish Film through its Pears Short Film Fund and Short Doc Fund. In The Last Cowboy in Salford, Jewish teenager Jonny Richman is convinced he is a real modern-day cowboy. Too bad he lives in Manchester and heading west means taking the train to Liverpool. Also includes Manchester premieres of The Soldier on Smithdown Road, set in Liverpool during the anti-Jewish riots of 1947, plus Conteruversial, exploring the construction of the new eruv in Leeds, and The Balance Sheet, a Jewish couple from Leeds looks back each year of their married life on the positives and negatives of the year that has passed. Fascinating and rare stories exploring the richness and diversity of Britain’s oldest minority community.
The Goldman Case | Cineworld Parrs Wood | 21st November | 7:00pm
Accused of a triple murder during the armed robbery of a Parisien pharmacy, Goldman, the rebellious son of Polish-Jewish immigrants, whose father was also a decorated Resistance fighter, refused to call any witnesses to his character. Politically on the far left and defiantly Jewish in his identity, Goldman accused the police of institutional antisemitism and racism, and of conspiring to convict him of a crime of which he was innocent.
The Consultant: The Story of Arthur J. Finklestein + Q&A | HOME | 5:50pm
Although the late Republican Party consultant Arthur J. Finkelstein was little known in his native US, his kingmaking powers had played a major role in the rise of right-wing populism around the world over the last two decades.
In 1968, aged just 23, he helped Nixon get elected, and later masterminded the stunning victories of Reagan in 1980, Orbán in 2010 and Netanyahu in 1996, a mere few months after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Finkelstein’s ability to manipulate public opinion and the media – using it to advance his clients’ careers while zealously protecting his privacy – could not stop the leaks about his long-term same-sex relationship.
Children of Nobody | Curzon Knutsford 23rd November | 8:40pm
In the heart of the historic and ultra-gentrified Neve Tzedek neighbourhood in Tel Aviv, Margalit runs a shelter for at-risk youth, offering her children love, guidance and motherly care. When tragedy strikes, and with ruthless real estate developers competing for the valuable property, Jackie – Margalit’s assistant who himself grew up at her home – comes up with an ingenious if risky plan to ensure he and the kids could continue living together.