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June 14 – June 28, 2015

Welcome to the 23rd annual Portland Jewish Film Festival, produced by the Northwest Film Center and co-presented with the Institute for Judaic Studies. While the Festival specifically celebrates the diversity of Jewish history, culture, and identity, we hope that these films, and the stories they tell, resonate beyond their settings and speak to universal experiences and issues that confront our common humanity.

Special thanks to our sponsors: Oregon Israel Fund of OJCF; Oregon Jewish Life Magazine; Leonard & Lois Schnitzer Charitable Supporting Fund of OJCF; Diane Solomon, Family fund; Cedar Sinai Park; Schnitzer Care Foundation; Reuben & Liz Menashe; Carolyn Weinstein, Hasson Realtors; Jewish Federation of Greater Portland; Community Warehouse; Mittleman Jewish Community Center; Portland Jewish Academy; Holzman Foundation; JStreet; German Consulate; Jewish Family & Child Services and Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education; Cong. Neveh Shalom and Cong. Shaarie Torah.

24 Days

Directed by Alexandre Arcady

In 2006, 23-year-old cellphone salesman Ilan Halim was abducted on the outskirts of Paris by a multiracial gang and held

A Borrowed Identity (AKA Dancing Arabs)

Directed by Eran Riklis

Eyad, who grew up in an Arab town in Israel, is given the chance to go to a prestigious Jewish

A Place in Heaven

Directed by Yossi Madmoni

In this tale within a tale, an uncompromising army officer nicknamed Bambi, who wins every military battle in the name

Almost Friends

Directed by Nitzan Ofir

Almost Friends is a touching documentary about two Israeli girls—an Arab and a Jew—who live only 67 kilometers apart but


Directed by Jonathan Goldschmidt

Widowed and down on his luck, Nat Dayan is desperate to save his bakery in London’s East End. His customers

East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem

Directed by Erez Miller, Henrique Cymerman

This rousing and inspiring documentary focuses on iconic Israeli singer/songwriter David Broza, who sets out to realize his dream of

Let’s Go

Directed by Michael Verhoeven

In 1968, 20-year-old Laura returns to Munich to attend her father’s funeral. Overcome with grief, she and her mother must

Magic Men

Directed by Guy Nattiv, Erez Tadmore

In this moving road trip comedy, 78-year-old Greek-born atheist and Holocaust survivor Avraham and his estranged, middle-aged, Hasidic rapper son

Raise the Roof

Directed by Cary Wolinsky, Yari Wolinsky

The Wolinskys’ fascinating film tells the inspiring story of how a decimated wooden Polish synagogue is brought back to life

Run Boy Run

Directed by Pepe Danquart

Based on the real life story of Yoram Fridman, who escaped the Warsaw Ghetto when he was eight years old,

Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness

Directed by Joseph Dorman

Dorman’s engrossing film tells the tale of a rebellious genius who created an entirely new literature. Plumbing the depths of

The Dove Flyer

Directed by Nissim Dayan

Kabi and his family face an uncertain future, as do all Jews living in Baghdad. It’s 1950 and each member

The Muses of Isaac Bashevis Singer

Directed by Asaf Galay, Shaul Betser

Considered one of the most influential Jewish writers of the twentieth century, best known for Yentl the Yeshiva Boy and

The Mystery of Happiness

Directed by Daniel Burman

Often called the Woody Allen of Argentinan cinema, Daniel Burman’s wistful comedy is part buddy movie, part detective story, and

The Zionist Idea (AKA Colliding Dreams)

Directed by Joseph Dorman, Oren Rudavsky

This ambitious examination of the origins, meaning and future of the Jewish national movement chronicles birth at a moment of

Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholem Aleichem

Directed by John Lollos

Portraits of beloved icons Sholom Aleichem and Theodore Bikel are woven together to reveal two men with much in common:

To Life

Directed by Jean-Jacques Zilberman

Zilbermann sets his engaging drama in postwar Paris where Hélène (Julie Depardieu), a young Auschwitz survivor rebuilds her life while

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.