THURSDAY JULY 19 THROUGH SUNDAY JULY 29 SPECIAL EVENT

38th SAN FRANCISCO JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL
The 38th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, presented by the Jewish Film Institute, returns July 19 – July 29 in San Francisco at the historic Castro Theatre as well as Albany, Oakland, Palo Alto and San Rafael through August 5. Experience over 150 films, parties, events and guests that celebrate excellence in independent cinema and showcase the diversity of global Jewish life. Passes, ticket packages and tickets are on sale now at www.sfjff.org

Highlights of this year’s festival include:

LOVE, GILDA: Opening Night
Thursday, July 19, 6:30pm
Gilda Radner was an instant sensation when she burst onto the scene with her brilliant, fearless and uproarious SNL performances, and when she died after an epic battle with ovarian cancer, a piece of us left with her. SFJFF38 is thrilled to open the Festival with this endearing, exuberant and intimate tribute that uses rare personal recordings, clear-eyed journal entries and interviews with SNL cast members to bring Radner back into our lives. With director Lisa D’Apolito and original SNL cast member Laraine Newman in person!

SFJFF & Noir City Present: BU
DAPEST NOIR
Saturday, July 21, 6:00pm
In this spellbinding detective story filled with actual hardboiled history, a newspaper reporter in 1936 Budapest becomes obsessed with the mysterious death of a young woman as the specter of the Third Reich rises. Join SFJFF38 and the Noir City Film Festival for a special evening celebrating all things paranoia-inducing in noir cinema. Hosted by FNF founder Eddie Muller in conversation with director Éva Gárdos.

Next Wave Spotlight: THE MAN WHO STOLE BANKSY
Saturday, July 21 8:45pm
In 2007 Banksy slips into Palestine to paint on the West Bank Barrier. Someone takes offense at a piece depicting an Israeli soldier checking a donkey’s ID. A local taxi driver decides to cut it off and sell it on eBay. What follows is a story of clashing cultures, art, identity, theft and the black market.
SFJFF & the SF Silent Film Festival Present: THE CITY WITHOUT JEWS
with a live score by Sascha Jacobsen & the Musical Art Quintet
Sunday, July 22, 7:00pm
In this biting satire about anti-Semitism, the Jews of mythical Utopia are blamed for a stagnant economy and expelled, then begged to return when the economy worsens. Believed to have been lost until a copy was discovered in a Paris flea market in 2015, this painstakingly restored 1924 silent gem makes its international premiere at SFJFF38 with an original live score.
Centerpiece Documentary: THE WALDHEIM WALTZ
Tuesday, July 24, 6:10pm
In 1986 former United Nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim launched an election bid to become Austria’s president. But revelations suddenly surfaced that Waldheim had been a German army officer suspiciously close to Nazi wartime atrocities in the Balkans. A stunning chronicle of the heated race and its foreshadow of populist, right-wing demagogues from Donald Trump to Austria’s chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache. Director Ruth Beckermann in person.
Centerpiece Narrative: TO DUST
Wednesday, July 25, 8:30pm
A Hasidic cantor (Géza Röhrig) and an under-equipped biology professor (Matthew Broderick) become blasphemously obsessed with the process of a human body’s decay. What follows are illicit dives into anatomy textbooks, outlandish homemade experiments, a road trip to a body farm, and the ever-lurking prospect of dybbuk possession. Röhrig and Broderick are an unholy match made in deadpan heaven as they embark on this increasingly literal journey into the underground. Director Shawn Snyder and actor Géza Röhrig in person.
Liz Garbus: Freedom of Expression Award
Screening of the new political documentary THE FOURTH ESTATE
Thursday, July 26, 5:30pm
The prolific Liz Garbus has been at the forefront of nonfiction filmmaking for decades. From The Farm: Angola, USA to Bobby Fischer Against the World, What Happened, Miss Simone?, and now with The Fourth Estate, the work of this two-time Academy Award nominee, Peabody winner and Emmy winner is a true embodiment of the Freedom of Expression Award. Liz Garbus in conversation with award-winning filmmaker Bonni Cohen.
Local Spotlight: SATAN & ADAM
Saturday, July 28, 6:20pm
On a street in Harlem in 1986, a young Jewish kid who plays a first-rate blues harmonica struck up a musical friendship with a street musician named Sterling Magee, who calls himself Mr. Satan. The duo puts together an act that leads to music festivals and a successful record. Just as quickly, the act crashes when Satan mysteriously disappears. This documentary captures a fascinating journey of friendship, heartbreak and the transformative power of the blues. Director V. Scott Balcerek and subject Adam Gussow in person.
Closing Night: SAMMY DAVIS, JR.: I’VE GOTTA BE ME
Presented in partnership with the Museum of the African Diaspora
Sunday, July 30, 8:00pm
It’s hard to imagine a more talented and groundbreaking performer who led a more complicated and contradictory life than Sammy Davis, Jr. Featuring excerpts from his exhilarating performances and star-studded interviews, director Sam Pollard’s riveting documentary presents a very full and very human portrait of this complex, courageous and conflicted man. Director Sam Pollard in conversation with MoAD Executive Director Linda Harrison.
 

MONDAY JULY 30 TBA

     
   


TUESDAY JULY 31 DOUBLE FEATURE

THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC 7:00 4K RESTORATION
Spiritual rapture and institutional hypocrisy are brought to stark, vivid life in one of the most transcendent achievements of the silent era. Chronicling the trial of Joan of Arc in the final hours leading up to her execution, Danish master Carl Theodor Dreyer depicts her torment with startling immediacy, employing an array of techniques—including expressionistic lighting, interconnected sets, and painfully intimate close-ups—to immerse viewers in her subjective experience. Anchoring Dreyer’s audacious formal experimentation is a legendary performance by Renée Falconetti, whose haunted face channels both the agony and the ecstasy of martyrdom. Thought to have been lost to fire, the film’s original version was miraculously found in perfect condition in 1981 in a Norwegian mental institution, heightening the mythic status of this widely revered masterwork. This new restoration is partnered with Richard Einhorn’s acclaimed score Voices of Light for the first time theatrically. (1928, 81 min, DCP)

+ FIRST REFORMED 8:35
Reverend Ernst Toller (Ethan Hawke) is a solitary, middle-aged parish pastor at a small Dutch Reform church in upstate New York on the cusp of celebrating its 250th anniversary. When a pregnant parishioner (Amanda Seyfried) asks the reverend to counsel her troubled husband, a radical environmentalist, the clergyman finds himself plunged into his own tormented past, and equally despairing future, until he finds redemption. From writer-director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver; American Gigolo; Affliction) comes a gripping drama about a crisis of faith that is at once personal, political, and planetary. (2017, 113 min, DCP)

 
 
 
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