February 25, 2014
Miss Daisy, Mel Brooks, Southern Jewish rebels and entertainers galore welcome you to the sixth annual Columbus Jewish Film Festival.
Presented in partnership with the Columbus Jewish Federation and through the generous support of the Muscogee County Friends of Libraries, this year’s festival specifically celebrates the Southern Jewish experience in the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s and is presented in cooperation with SHALOM YA’LL: THE VALLEY’S JEWISH HERITAGE – the exhibit of Jewish life in the Chattahoochee Valley, now on display at the Columbus Museum.
All films begin at 7:00pm in the Columbus Public Library Auditorium, 3000 Macon Road. Admission is free and no advance tickets or registration are needed.
Thursday March 6 – DRIVING MISS DAISY (1989, Rated PG) – This Best Picture Oscar® winner, adapted by writer Alfred Uhry from his famed stage play, is one of the most acclaimed portrayals of Southern life in the mid-twentieth century. Daisy Werthan (Jessica Tandy), an elderly Jewish widow living in Atlanta, is determined to maintain her independence. When she crashes her car, however, her son Boolie (Dan Aykroyd) arranges for her to have a chauffeur, an African-American driver named Hoke Colburn (Morgan Freeman). Daisy and Hoke’s relationship gets off to a rocky start, but they gradually form a close friendship over the years, one that closely mirrors the racial and social conventions of their time. Based loosely on his family’s life in Atlanta’s Druid Hills neighborhood, Uhry’s tale is a triumph of storytelling and of relationships transcending traditional barriers.
Thursday March 13 – SHALOM, YA’LL (2002, Not Rated but Family Friendly) – Traveling in a vintage Cadillac, filmmaker Brian Bain, a third generation Jew from New Orleans, sets out on a 4200-mile road trip though the American South. Traveling through Delta flatlands, small towns in Mississippi, suburban subdivisions, Texas ranches, and sprawling Sunbelt metropolises what he uncovers is the unique and diverse history of Southern Jews. Along the way, Bain woos his future wife, herself a southern Jew, and discusses Jewish participation in the Civil Rights Movement with Andrew Young.
Thursday March 20 – HAVA NAGILA (THE MOVIE) (2012, Not Rated but Family Friendly) – It’s to music what the bagel is to food – a Jewish staple that has transcended its origins and become a worldwide hit. Bob Dylan sang it. Elvis, too. And that’s only the beginning when it comes to Hava Nagila. Follow the infectious party song on its fascinating journey from the shtetls of Eastern Europe to the cul-de-sacs of America in this hilarious and surprisingly deep film. Featuring interviews with Harry Belafonte, Connie Francis, Glen Campbell, Leonard Nimoy, Regina Spektor and more, Hava Nagila (The Movie) takes viewers from Ukraine and Israel to the Catskills, Greenwich Village, Hollywood – and even Bollywood – using the song as a springboard to explore Jewish history and identity and to spotlight the cross-cultural connections that can only be achieved through music.
Thursday March 27 – HISTORY OF THE WORLD: PART I (1981, Rated R) – Jewish humor is American Humor. Springing from Vaudeville, through the famed Borscht Belt nightclubs, much of what we now consider “funny” can draw its heritage to the Jewish Americans trained there, from Eddie Cantor to Neil Simon to Woody Allen and Jerry Seinfeld. The most prolific (and most outrageous) of these comedian/writers is Mel Brooks, whose slapstick-laced films have hilariously left nothing unmocked. In “History of the Word – Part I”, Brooks mercilessly skewers our accepted mythology of ancient history with groan-inducing skits of silliness and mirth set in Rome, ancient Egypt, Europe during the Inquisition and revolutionary France.
Don’t Miss SHALOM YA’LL: THE VALLEY’S JEWISH HERITAGE, now on exhibit through July 13th at the Columbus Museum. More information can be found at www.columbusmuseum.com or by calling (706) 748-2562.