The Jewish International Film Festival (JIFF) will be running across various Australian locations beginning late October, through to November.
The festival will be showcasing a variety of outstanding films across various theatres around Australia, with the film Denial starring Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson and Timothy Spall set to open the proceedings.
In Denial, Oscar-winner Rachel Weisz plays Professor Deborah Lipstadt, who was sued for defamation by author and self-proclaimed historian, David Irving (Timothy Spall) for being referenced as a ‘denier’ in Lipstadt’s book, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory. Aided by a first-class legal team, helmed by a brilliant, yet maverick barrister, Richard Rampton (Tom Wilkinson), Lipstadt was tasked with proving that the Holocaust did happen in order to discredit Irving and clear her name.
The film recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was met with positive reviews.
Denial is directed by Mick Jackson, who is probably best known for directing the hugely popular 1992 film The Bodyguard, which starred the late Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner.
Closing JIFF will be the documentary The Last Laugh, a provocative documentary that approaches the Holocaust from a different perspective.
Director Fearne Pearlstein looks at taboos and comedy and in doing so asks ‘how far’ comedy should go when delving into tragedy. Acknowledging that comedy can play a cathartic and ultimately healing role, this insightful film examines the issue via comedic titans such as Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Rob Reiner, Larry Charles, Sarah Silverman, Louis C.K., Chris Rock and the late Joan Rivers, along with survivors of the Holocaust including 91-year-old, Auschwitz survivor, Renee Firestone.
The festival will run in the below cities on the following dates:
Sydney (26 Oct – 23 Nov) | Melbourne (27 Oct – 23 Nov) | Canberra (10, 12, 13, 19 & 20 Nov) | Perth (26 Oct – 6 Nov) | Auckland (10, 12, 13, 19 & 20 Nov) Brisbane (10, 12, 13, 19 & 20 Nov)
For further details about JIFF as well as ticketing information, please visit the official website here.
Some other highlights from the festival include the below films.
THE PEOPLE VS. FRITZ BAUER
Feature / Germany / 2015 / 105 mins / Director: Lars Kraume
In this taut, historical thriller, Attorney General Fritz Bauer, himself a Jew, receives vital evidence on the whereabouts of the so-called ‘Architect of the Holocaust’, Adolf Eichmann. Blocked by an unforgiving German government in taking the case to court, Bauer covertly elicits the help of the Israeli secret service, the Mossad, to bring Eichmann to justice, and, in doing so, commits treason against Germany. Winner of the Audience Award at Locarno International Film Festival, and of 6 Awards at the 2016 Lola Awards (German Academy Awards) including Best Film, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor and Best Screenplay.
THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK
Feature / Germany / 2016 / 129 mins / Director: Hans Steinbichler
Based on the uncensored original diary, this film introduces Anne’s story to a new generation. With the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, the situation for Anne and her family is fraught. In order to avoid deportation, they hide in a ‘secret annexe’ in the rear of a house in Amsterdam. It’s a claustrophobic existence between everyday routine and looming menace. Young Anne recorded all of this in her diary, describing her wishes, desires and fears as she came of age behind locked doors. Her clever observations and insightful descriptions have helped generations of young people to picture the horrors of the Nazi persecution of the Jews. Premiered at Berlin Film Festival.
JERRY LEWIS: THE MAN BEHIND THE CLOWN
Doco. / USA, France, Australia / 2016 / 60 mins / Dir: Gregory Monro
Jerry Lewis had the masses laughing with his visual gags, pantomime sketches and signature slapstick humour. Yet Lewis was far more than just a clown. He was also a ground-breaking filmmaker whose unquenchable curiosity led him to write, produce, stage and direct many of the films he appeared in. Celebrating his 90th year, Lewis candidly reflects on his remarkable life and career, allowing audiences to rediscover this brilliant, yet deeply conflicted, man.
Deserted Island Movie Collection: The films of Quentin Tarantino.
Best Movie Snack: Nachos.