The April 15 print edition of the American Jewish World, our Passover special, had an article about Jewish- and Israeli-themed films in theÂ 2011 Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival. One of the films not mentioned isÂ Norman Mailer: The American, about the renowned Jewish novelist and journalist.
Here’s a trailer for the 106-minute documentary, which is directed by Joseph Mantegna:
Norman Mailer: The American screens 7:15 p.m. Friday, April 22; and 4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 23 at the St. Anthony Main Theatre.
Under the aegis of the Film Society of Minneapolis-St. Paul (formerly Minnesota Film Arts), films will be screened at the St. Anthony Main Theatre, 115 Main St. S.E., Minneapolis.
Al Milgrom, éminence grise of the local film scene, is still with the festival as artistic director and principal co-programmer.
A number of directors will appear with their films. Jeff Lipsky, a cofounder of independent film distribution companies October and Lot 47, will be at MSPIFF this weekend to discuss his film Twelve Thirty, a tale of familial dysfunction and young lust set in an upper middle class Cedar Rapids, Iowa, milieu. Lipsky, who also directed the indie filmsÂ Once More With Feeling and Flannel Pajamas, wrote and directed Twelve Thirty. The film (which has no Jewish content, includes explicit sexual conversations and situations, and nudity) screens 7 p.m.Â Saturday, April 23, and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, April 24.
• From Austria, In Another Lifetime, directed by Elisabeth Scharang (German, with English subtitles), tells the story of a group of captive Hungarian Jews who are force-marched to an Austrian village in the closing days of World War II. Imprisoned in a barn belonging to a crippled Austrian war veteran, the Jewish internees prepare to stage an operetta for the amusement of the townsfolk. Some irrepressible characters leaven the tension, in what is generally a sobering story from the ashes of 20th century Europe. In Another Lifetime, will be screened 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 3.
• The Polish filmÂ Little Rose, directed by Jan Kidawa-Blonski,Â exposes government repression and anti-Semitism in the Communist regime of the late-1960s. Kamila (“Little Rose”), the lover of a crude security-services colonel named Rozek, infiltrates the circle of Warczewski, a public intellectual deemed to be subversive by the state. However, the young woman comes to admire the humanity and refinement of the older man, as Kamila realizes how she is being used by the regime. The film, which explores Poland’s March 1968 uprising and subsequent anti-Jewish crackdown, climaxes with some unexpected plot twists.Â Little Rose (Polish, with English subtitles), which has won a number of European film festival awards, will be shown 4:45 p.m. Monday, April 25; and 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 29.
• She’s Israeli, he’s Palestinian. Will their love survive? That’s the abridged synopsis for Love During Wartime, a Swedish documentary about lovers divided by the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Director Gabrielle Bier comments, “My film is a story about love. Through Osama and Jasmin’s story, both real people and not stereotypes, the audience will experience the conflict in the Middle East from a very personal perspective.” In a personal sidelight, Bier is the cousin of Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier, who recently won the best foreign language film Oscar for In a Better World. Love During Wartime screens 12 p.m. Sunday, May 1; and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 4.
• Goring’s Baton”¨ (Finnish with English subtitles) — Directed by Pia Andel, this documentary short tells the story of Felix Forsman, a young and curious Finnish cinematographer, and his remarkable secret filming assignment of Nazi Germany. The footage of Finnish officials visiting Hitler, Goring et al., in the Wolf’s Lair in the summer of 1942 was banned for 65 years. Showtime is 2 p.m. Friday, April 29.
• Eichmann’s End (German with English subtitles) — A fictional recreation of historical events, the film leads up to the capture of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann by Mossad agents in Argentina. Director Raymond Ley puts an unbelievable love affair, between a Holocaust survivor’s daughter and the boy she did not realize was Eichmann’s son, at the center of the film. Screenings are 5:15 p.m. Thursday, April 28; and 3 p.m. Saturday, April 30.
• Wagner and Me — “My love of Wagner is tearing me apart,” says famed British television personality Stephen Fry. In this documentary from the United Kingdom, director Patrick McGrady follows the Jewish British music aficionado to the annual Bayreuth Festival, which showcases the works of Hitler’s favorite composer. Of course, the soundtrack — Wagner. Wagner and Me shows 4:15 p.m. Monday, May 2.
• Strictly Confidential (Norway) — Director Benedicte M. Orvung finds the proverbial skeleton in her family closet: her great-uncle Karl Marthinsen was one of the most prominent Nazi collaborators in Norway. Marthinsen rose through the ranks of Quisling’s underlings to become the head of homeland police during the World War II occupation of Norway. He was among those responsible for the roundup of Norwegian Jews, who were then turned over to the Nazis and sent to Auschwitz. Widely feared, the Norwegian government-in-exile marked Marthinsen for assassination. The 105-minute documentary (in Norwegian with English subtitles) will be shown 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 30; and 9:15 p.m. Wednesday, May 4.
Film screening dates and times could change, and some showing might be added, so check the schedule at: mspfilmfest.org.
— Mordecai Specktor