Tired of watching the same old mainstream movies churning out of the cinemas? Then why not get a dose of reality and catch one of the 25 world-class films being screened at this year’s Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival (HKJFF) until November 22.
Returning for the 16th year, the festival showcases the best Jewish-themed films from around the world to a broad audience of whom one-third are non-Jewish. Sharing the theme of ‘Resilience’, this year’s selection features strong protagonists who take fate into their own hands, and make tough decisions that affect their world, and at times the course of history itself.
More than ten films produced in Israel reveal life beyond the political conflict, emphasising positive elements of Israeli society not usually highlighted in the media, and portraying the resilience of people who strive to achieve the extraordinary under difficult circumstances.
Among them are Rock in the Red Zone, which delves into a war-torn Sderot with its prolific rock music scene, The Voice of Peace, which tells the story of a pirate radio station dedicated to peace and co-existence, and Silicon Wadi, which offers an intimate portrait of Israel as a “high-tech nation”.
This year’s festival also shines the spotlight on women, with a host of strong female characters portrayed on screen. Regina: The First Woman Rabbi documents a woman who made history before her inspiring life was cut short by the Nazis, while Oscar-winning documentary The Lady at Number 6 is the uplifting story of how music saved the life of Holocaust survivor Alice Herz Sommer.
The programme includes guest appearances from two inspiring women who are flying to Hong Kong to attend the festival. Osnat Sharon from Yad L’isha, an organisation in Israel that provides free legal aid and support to women seeking divorce, will offer a Q&A session after the screening of The Gett, and Israeli TV personality Galia Albin will be present at the screening of her short film, My Mayim the same evening.
As always, the festival is taking measures to reach out to local communities and to improve access to the wealth of films on view. Several films have Chinese subtitles and two films, Kinderlekh and Forgers of History, will be screened in local and international schools and universities throughout Hong Kong, supported by the Hong Kong Holocaust and Tolerance Centre.
All films will be shown at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty.