Check out the Toronto Jewish Film Festival’s new Shine A Light Playlist, featuring films exploring antisemitism, Jewish representation and stereotypes on J-Flix, TJFF’s FREE online library showcasing a rich legacy of film from TJFF’s 30+ year history. Streaming available from anywhere in Canada. Click here to register for J-Flix.
Shine a Light on Antisemitism is a North American initiative taking place during the month of December to harness a communal expression of solidarity to call out and combat antisemitism.
THE BASKETBALL GAME
6 mins | Canada | 2011
Director: Hart Snider
Can one game change everything? Hart Snider’s autobiographical animated film explores the transformation possible when urban Jewish kids and rural youth brought up with anti-Semitism meet on the basketball courts and dispel mutual distrust and stereotypes.
CUBA – BEYOND THE PEARL OF THE ANTILLES
36 mins | United States | 2005
Director: Joycelyn Bejar
Languages: English, Spanish
This compelling documentary chronicles the lives of Cuban Jews who left Cuba in 1960, after having resided there since the early 1900s. The film deals with the political impact that the Castro regime had on these people, their lives and their culture. It also profiles the community still living there – looking at their fight to maintain closeness to their Jewish roots and practice their Judaism, as well as tracing how they arrived in Cuba. A fascinating and fresh portrait of a little known group in a country fraught with political turmoil.
FROM SWASTIKA TO JIM CROW
60 mins | United States | 2000
Director: Lori Cheatle
It’s a little known fact that many European Jewish professors, fired by their universities under orders of the Nazis, ended up in the United States, as teachers at African American colleges. They were welcomed there, while more prestigious white institutions refused their credentials. The film goes beyond the examination of the relations between two persecuted peoples to the human stories beneath; the friendships that were formed and the influences that lasted a lifetime.
I, DALIO – OR THE RULES OF THE GAME
34 mins | United States, France | 2015
Director: Mark Rappaport
Filmmaker Mark Rappaport offers a fascinating look at the film career of French Jewish character actor Marcel Dalio (Grand Illusion, Casablanca). In 1930s France, Dalio was most often cast as “The Jew”—informer, blackmailer or gangster. Fleeing to Hollywood, he found a new role as the consummate “Frenchman”.
MONTREAL JEWISH MEMORIES – PART II: STORIES OF THE THIRTIES
52 mins | Canada | 2003
Director: Dov Okouneff
Montreal Jews strike roots along a narrow strip dividing the French and English sides of town, and cope with discrimination and the Depression. Stories of soup kitchens, the growth of mutual aid societies,the building of the Jewish General Hospital, and Zionist and Socialist sports clubs. Promenading along Park Avenue, seeing Maurice Schwartz at the Monument-National, climbing Mt. Royal, the lights, the shadows… and a war in the offing.
66 mins | Ireland | 2013
Directors: Paul Duane, David Cairns
Languages: French, English
Bernard Natan was running France’s most successful production company, Pathé, in the 1920’s and 1930’s and was essentially one of the fathers of French cinema. Why has his name been completely erased from the history of cinema? Persecuted for his Romanian-Jewish heritage, Natan encountered fierce anti-semitism, and was defamed as a pornographer in what can be viewed as the film world’s Dreyfus Affair. Filmmakers David Cairns and Paul Duane investigate the rumours and falsehoods that have surrounded Natan’s story for decades. Produced by the maker of the acclaimed Cameraman: The Life & Work of Jack Cardiff, and selected by Indiewire as one of the “10 Best Films” of the 2013 Edinburgh International Film Festival. Warning: graphic sexual imagery.
THE PEOPLE V. LEO FRANK
84 mins | United States | 2009
Director: Ben Loeterman
The events leading up to the 1913 lynching of Leo Frank, an American Jew wrongfully accused of murdering a young girl who worked in his factory, are faithfully recreated in this fascinating documentary. Dramatic sequences, taken from transcripts, documents and letters, help to make the film both a first-rate murder mystery and a thought-provoking look at racial and religious prejudice in the early-20th-century American South. Ben Loeterman’s film offers a wealth of rare archival images and new interviews with historians, politicians and the descendants of the participants, infusing these century-old events with a special resonance for today.
J-Flix is a FREE digital initiative of the Toronto Jewish Film Foundation showcasing the rich legacy of Jewish content films from Canada’s leading presenter for almost 30 years. Over 100 curated titles are available for streaming including documentaries, feature length narratives, shorts, along with beloved archival films – all of which represent the global and inclusive flavour of TJFF programming.
Check back often because new films are added weekly! Register for J-Flix for free on j-flix.com