Five films to look out for at the 2017 Jewish International Film Festival

The Jewish International Film Festival is fast approaching, kicking off on 25 October at Classic Cinema located in Elsternwick, Melbourne. JIFF celebrates various Israeli and Jewish themed films in both Australia and New-Zealand. The massive program was unveiled yesterday, and we went through it to bring you back five films you should look out for:

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

A headlining documentary at the festival, Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story focuses on the life of Austrian actress Hedy Lamarr, who fled from an oppressive marriage only to make a name for herself as one of Hollywood’s leading ladies during the 1940’s. Narrated by Diane Kruger (Inglorious Basterds) with interviews from talents such as Mel Brooks (The Producers) and Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show), this documentary promises to one of the most in depth and personal looks at Hedy Lamarr, a true Hollywood icon.


Menashe stars Menashe Lustig, a recently widowed Hasidic Jewish man, who tries to regain custody of his son Rieven, who is living with his aunty and uncle as per Jewsish ruling, that states he must remarry in order to provide a proper home for his son. Loosely based on the real life of Menashe Lustig himself, Menashe offers a look into the hardships that religion, love and family can bring its way.

In Between

Another highlight of the program, director Maysaloun Hamound’s new film In Between centres around three Palestinian women who are flatmates, and question not only their faith, but the rules and morals that are implied by their religion, proving that these values may come at a cost to find who you really are. The film stars Mouna Hawa (Zaytoun) Sana Jammalieh (Bar Bahar) and Shaden Kanboura (Bar Bahr). The film has been noted for its controversial depiction of sexual violence and drug use.

The Last Goldfish 

Being an Australian production, The Last Goldfish showcases the best of local Jewish filmmaking and acts as an autobiographical documentary of Sydney’s Su Goldfish. The film documents her journey from Australia to Trinidad and WW2 Germany in search of her lost family. Rich with archival images and footage, The Last Goldfish sends a strong heartfelt message to all those affected by forced migration.

The Rebel in the Rye

The Rebel in the Rye is our fifth and final pick of the festival, and will be closing out the festival. Starring Kevin Spacey (American Beauty) and Nicholas Hoult (SkinsX-Men: Days of Future Past), The Rebel in the Rye acts as a biopic, looking into the life of infamously-reclusive author JD Salinger. The film looks at everything from Salinger’s Jewish upbringing and his WWII service, all the way to the completion of his iconic novel The Catcher in the Rye.

The Jewish International Film Festival will begin on the 25th of October in Melbourne, and travel to Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth, ending on the 19th of November.

You can purchase tickets now. Get all the details HERE.


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Matthew Arcari

Matthew Arcari is a games and technology author at The AU Review. You can find him on Twitter at @chunkys_world and Chunky's World on YouTube.

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