TJFF 2024 – Programmer’s Picks

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May 27, 2024

The Toronto Jewish Film Festival’s programmers have taken a dive into the TJFF2024 lineup to highlight a few personal favourites among the many stellar films that make up this year’s event form May 30 to June 9, 2024. Whether you’re looking for a documentary to enlighten you, a drama to grip you, or simply a comedy to make you laugh, these movies are a great place to start when putting together your Festival watch list.

HELEN ZUKERMAN

YANIV

Good hearted people doing the right thing for the right reason. Zany, funny and touching. Took me away from the news of the day.

STUART HANDS

GIADO : HOLOCAUST IN THE DESERT

Giado is one of the most unique films dealing with the Holocaust I have seen in recent years. Not only does it tell a story many people are not aware of—that of the 3000 Benghazi Jews sent to a concentration camp in the Libyan desert during World War II—it also offers an incredibly creative and effective cinematic solution to the lack of archival materials documenting this story. Giado offers us a new way to think about and visualize the Shoah.

JEREMIE ABESSIRA

THE GOLDMAN CASE

A Masterpiece of cinema shot between 4 walls and some of the best performances French cinema has to offer. In the same vein of Anatomy of a Fall, the audience becomes here the jury of this intense trial in this film where its singular story carries a universal message that resonates today more than ever. 

LARA BULGER​

THE ANARCHIST LUNCH

Despite the fact that the individuals in this film are forty to sixty years older than myself, they were some of the most endearing, watchable subjects I’ve seen on screen all year. I can only hope to cultivate a group of friends as strong as the attendees of The Anarchist Lunch.

ANDERS GATTEN

BETWEEN THE TEMPLES

This comedic meditation on arrested development in the face of unimaginable loss made me laugh, cry, and cringe all in equal measure. I doubt any viewer will be able to resist the unique, beguiling chemistry Schwartzman and Kane bring to every scene they share.

GILLIAN HELLFIELD

THE GREEN PERFUME

I loved The Green Perfume,  which evokes one of my favourite genre mash-ups:  the  screwball- comedy-conspiracy-adventure film, involving eccentric couples, dangerous intrigue, sinister adversaries, and exotic locations. In the hands of award-winning filmmaker Nicolas Pariser, this stylish rendition offers a uniquely Jewish twist, in its deeper (and timely) engagement with questions of identity in the context of rising nationalism.

RANI SANDERSON

RED HERRING

I love that filmmaker, Kit Vincent, managed to make a beautiful, joyful – and dare I say, funny – documentary about a topic no one wants to talk about: death. In Red Herring Kit takes a raw yet tender look at his terminal brain cancer diagnosis, and follows his family on their bittersweet journey to discover the meaning of life, love, loss, and connection.  

SUSAN STARKMAN

SEVEN BLESSINGS

Seven evenings of family dinners celebrating a newlywed couple (sheva brachot) make a strong case for elopement in this taut psychodrama of a Moroccan family that swept the Israeli Ophir awards. Buried resentments that have simmered longer than the food rise to the surface, but the bonds of family ultimately prove to be unbreakable.

MAXIM VOLOVIK

TABOO : AMOS GUTTMAN

A deep dive into the life and career of Amos Guttman, a visionary Israeli filmmaker who was as audacious in his pictures as Almodóvar and Fassbinder, yet was deprived of the same level of notoriety due to constant media backlash.

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