Jewish Film Festival, September 13 – 16

An emotionally powerful and eloquent slate of award-winning films documenting the Jewish experience during the Holocaust is the focus of the Jewish Film Festival at the Hayes Performing Arts Center, Sept. 13-16. A co-production between The Simon Wiesenthal Center and its Academy Award-winning Moriah Films, Westglow Resort & Spa and the Hayes Center, the festival is a benefit for the Temple of the High Country, which is being built on King Street in downtown Boone.

“The Jewish People are an integrated community with a unique history/destiny that spans across time and space,” says Rabbi Aron Heir, Director of iACT/Campus Outreach at the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “[Westglow owners] Bonnie and Jamie Schaefer are true builders in every sense of the world. They are committed to empowering a true renaissance of Jewish life and identity by creating Jewish institutions in the beautiful windy cliffs of Blowing Rock, NC.”

The festival, a mixture of six documentaries and two fact-based films, which are shown daily at 2pm and 7pm, aims to support Moriah Films’ mission to fight anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial, terrorism and hate around the world.

“We’re proud to partner with such an acclaimed producer of films like Moriah Films and such respected community leaders as the Schaefers,” says Hayes Center Marketing Director Rick Suyao. “Part of our mission is to celebrate the diversity and history of cultures through programming. And we couldn’t be more honored to serve as the hosting venue for this incredible slate of films for such a fantastic endeavor as the Temple of the High Country.”

The Jewish Film Festival schedule is:

Sunday, Sept. 13

2pm: Paper Clips — This award-winning documentary follows students of Tennessee’s Whitwell Middle School who collected paper clips from around the world to help visualize and represent the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust. The Paper Clip Project changed the lives of those who created it, as well as touched Holocaust survivors and countless communities. Winner of the Audience Award for Best Overall Film at the 2004 Rome International Film Festival. “Oscar caliber” – Joel Siegel, Good Morning America

Click here to see a sneak peek of this incredible movie! I will definitely be taking my children!

7pm: Genocide — Narrated by Orson Welles and Elizabeth Taylor, Genocide traces the trajectory of the flourishing Jewish community in pre-war Europe to their grim fate through the ghettos, camps and prisons of the Nazi regime. Winner of the 1982 Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary. “Unforgettable…an unabashed assault on the emotions.” – Newsweek

Monday, Sept. 14

2pm: Blessed Is the Match: The Hannah Senesh Story — Through writings and photographs, Blessed Is the Match spotlights Senesh, a WWII-era poet and diarist who became a paratrooper, resistance fighter and modern-day Joan of Arc when, safe in Palestine in 1944, she joined a mission to rescue Hungary’s Jews — the only outside rescue mission for Jews during the Holocaust. This multi-award winner is narrated by Joan Allen.

7pm: Unlikely Heroes —Academy Award winner Sir Ben Kingsley narrates this film chronicling the Jewish resistance and individual heroism of seven extraordinary men and women who exemplified the highest level of courage and human dignity during the most desperate days of the Holocaust. “An eloquent triumph for the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Moriah Films” – Los Angeles Times

Tuesday, Sept. 15

2pm: One Day You’ll Understand — In 1987, as French television broadcasts the trial of Klaus Barbie, the Nazi “Butcher of Lyon,” a man begins an obsessive inquiry into his family’s secret past and the fate of his maternal grandparents during the Holocaust. Starring Jeanne Moreau; French with English subtitles.

7pm: Ever Again — This chilling documentary narrated by Academy Award-winning actor/director Kevin Costner examines the upswing in anti-Semitic violence in Europe and what the filmmakers argue poses an even greater threat to the Jewish people: Islamic extremists, and what this all means for both the future of the Western world and the Middle East.

Wednesday, Sept. 16

2pm: The Garden of the Finzi-Continis — A 1972 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language film, this adaptation of Giorgio Bassani’s 1962 semiautobiographical novel chronicles the relationships between the narrator and the children of Italy’s aristocratic Finzi-Contini family amidst the shadows of creeping fascism. “A hauntingly beautiful movie, brilliantly conceived and tenderly realized.” – Newsweek; “Quite marvelous! A beautiful surprise!” – The New Yorker

7pm: Against the Tide —This compelling film examines the U.S. Administration, State Department and Establishment Jewish organizations, which used the pretext of winning the war against the Nazis to block any Jewish immigration to the U.S. Highlighting a young activist named Peter Bergson, the film juxtaposes the events in America with heart-wrenching heroic stories of doomed European Jews and the leaders of Polish Jewry who had faith that their powerful brothers and sisters in the United States would somehow be able to save them.

Tickets for the Jewish Film Festival are $5 for each film (Paper Clips is free for children 18 and younger) and can be obtained in advance by calling the Hayes Center box office at 295.9627. Only 348 tickets will be sold and they will not be available on line.

The Hayes Performing Arts Center is located at 152 Jamie Fort Road (off Hwy 321), Blowing Rock, N.C. Tel:828…