The Israel Film Festival returns to Cobble Hill’s Kane Street Synagogue for the eighth year on Jan. 26 and Jan. 28-29, featuring three hard-hitting films straight from the land of milk and honey.
“My focus is on bringing diverse outlooks to the same room for purpose of discussion,” said Hedda Kaska, the festival’s curator. “We want to show people Israel as a place where people of different cultures live together and fuction together against all odds.”
This year’s films, which will also show in Miami and Los Angeles, include “The Debt,” a 2008 thriller set in 1964 that follows three Mossad agents as they capture and kill the “Surgeon of Birkenau” before returning to Israel — only to later discover that the Surgeon is still alive; “Restoration,” a film that tells the story of an aging furnature restorer struggling to keep his business alive after losing his partner, that took home first prize for best feature at the Jerusalem Film Festival and the World Cinema Screenwriting Award at Sundance; and “Dolphin Boy,” a film about an Israeli Arab teenager who, after being savagely beaten, undergoes an experimental therapy treatment involving a dolphin.
The films, although thematically diverse, were selected to create an image of Israel as a multi-faceted, dynamic and complex place.
“Take ‘Dolphin Boy’ — it’s about a very human relationship between Jews and Arabs. If it’s controversial at all, it’s because of the absence of politics,” Kaska said. “I look for topics that will engender fruitful discussion.”
The Israel Film Festival at the Kane Street Synagogue [236 Kane St. between Clinton and Court streets in Cobble Hill, (718) 875-1550]. Jan. 26; Jan. 28-29, 8 pm. Tickets, $12 per film, $30 for three. For info, visit www.israel
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