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Sharon Rain
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'Deis Flicks

In collaboration with the National Center for Jewish Film on the Brandeis campus, the Brandeis National Committee has assembled a lending library of DVDs. The 'Deis Flicks collection includes both the work of modern independent filmmakers and archival materials. Together they represent a visual record of the Jewish people in all of their vibrancy and diversity. Please explore our exciting array of films below.

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Movie Index:

New
Restored NCJF
Comedy
Documentary
Drama
Around the World

New


Nicholas Winton: The Power of Good

Czech Republic/ Slovak Republic, 2002, 64 minutes, color
English and Czech with English subtitles

A gripping documentary about the courage and determination of a young English stockbroker who saved the lives of 669 children. Between March 13 and August 2, 1939, Sir Nicholas Winton organized eight transports (one airplane and seven trains) to take children from Prague to new homes in Great Britain, and kept silent about it until his wife discovered a scrapbook documenting his unique mission in 1988. Watch the trailor here.

Making Trouble

85 minutes - USA 2006

This funny film tells the story of six of the greatest female comic performers of the last century - Molly Picon, Fanny Brice, Sophie Tucker, Joan Rivers, Gilda Radner, and Wendy Wasserstein. 

Dear Mr. Waldman


86 minutes, Hebrew and English subtitles

In Tel Aviv in the 1960s 10-year-old Hilik knows his goal in life–to make his parents happy and compensate for the grief they both suffered in the Holocaust. The fragile equilibrium of Rivka and Moishe’s new, post-war life begins to waver when Moishe convinces himself that Yankele, his son from his first marriage, didn't actually die in Auschwitz, but rather survived to become the “Jack Waldman” he sees pictured in a newspaper.

Punk Jews (available Jan '14)

60 minutes - USA

Profiling Hassidic punk rockers, Yiddish street performers, African-American Jewish activists and more, Punk Jews explores an emerging movement of provocateurs and committed Jews who are asking, each in his or her own way, what it means to be Jewish in the 21st century. Watch the trailer here

Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Grey

86 minutes - USA 2011

Brother against brother, Jew against Jew, 10,000 Jewish soldiers fought in the nation’s deadliest war, in numbers proportionally higher than other American groups. Includes questions for discussion from Jonathan Sarna, Joseph H. Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History. Watch the trailer here

Making Trouble

New, Restored NCJF, Comedy, Drama, Around the World

Restored NCJF


American Matchmaker (Amerikaner Shadkhn)

USA, 1940, 87 minutes, B&W
Yiddish with new English subtitles 
Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer

Leo Fuchs, the "Yiddish Fred Astaire," stars in this musical comedy as Nat Silver, a debonair and fabulously wealthy Jewish-American businessman whose recent engagement (his eighth) goes awry. Edgar G. Ulmer's last Yiddish movie was also his most modern, an art-deco romantic comedy about male ambivalence and Jewish assimilation.  Watch the trailer here.

Green Fields (Grine Felder)

USA, 1937, 95 minutes, B&W
Yiddish with new English subtitles
Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer and Jacob Ben-Ami

The most critically acclaimed and beloved of American Yiddish talkies, Edgar Ulmer's soulful, open-air adaptation of Peretz Hirshbein's classic play heralded the Golden Age of Yiddish cinema. "Green Fields" celebrates an idyllic world of tribal wholeness and innate piety—no other movie has ever represented the shtetl with such lyricism. Starring Helen Beverly and Michael Goldstein, "Green Fields" was voted the Best Foreign Film in France in 1938. Watch the trailer here.

New, Restored NCJF, Comedy, Drama, Around the World

Comedy


Advice and Dissent

USA, 2002, 21 minutes, color 
Directed By Leib Cohen

After five years in a loveless marriage, Jeffrey Goldman (John Pankow) and his wife, Ellen (Rebecca Pidgeon), have reached a crossroads. She would like to salvage their relationship by having a child, and he would like to end it with a clean divorce. When she refuses, Jeffrey must resort to other means. Watch the trailer here.

Camera Obscura

86 minutes, 2008, color/B&W
Spanish and Yiddish with English subtitles

At the end of the 19th century, Gertrudis, a shy, introspective "ugly duckling" in a colony of immigrant Argentinean Jews, grows into her role as a mother and wife of a charismatic Yidishe Gaucho—until she meets a nomadic photographer whose uncompromising vision allows her to see herself for the first time. Watch the trailer here.

New, Restored NCJF, Comedy, Drama, Around the World

Drama


Father's Footsteps

France/Israel, 2007, 95 minutes, color
French & Hebrew with English subtitles

In the early 1970s, the Maimons, a rambunctious but tight-knit Tunisian-Israeli family, settle in Paris seeking adventure and fortune. Felix (Gad Elmaleh), Mireille (Yael Abecassis) and their two young sons rely on one another, especially when Felix's minor crimes escalate to bank robbery after he meets Serge (Richard Berry), a local Jewish gangster. Eleven-year-old Michael, who always thought of his father as a "superhero," discovers that maybe his definition of hero needs to change.

Imported Bridegroom

93 minutes, color, USA

A nostalgic Jewish romance about a rich turn-of-the-century Boston widower who returns from the old country with a husband for his thoroughly modern daughter, who is appalled by this pious old-world scholar. She seems appalled, but is she?

Leon the Pig Farmer

98 minutes, color, 1996 Germany

An irreverent comedy from the production company of Monty Python's Eric Idle, "Leon the Pig Farmer" is considered a cult classic in Europe. The movie's zany story is set in motion when Leon Geller (Mark Frankel), a sensitive Jewish boy from London, accidentally learns that he is the product of artificial insemination. Watch the trailer here.

Love at Second Sight

90 minutes, color, Israel 1998
Hebrew with English subtitles

Renowned Israeli filmmaker and actress Michal Bat-Adam produced, wrote and directed this intriguing tale of romantic obsession in present-day Tel Aviv. The beautiful Michal Zuaratz stars as Nina, a promising newspaper photographer with a special knack for giving life to her pictures, a gift she inherited from her grandfather, Olek.

Purple Lawns

56 minutes, color, Israel
Hebrew with English subtitles

Two young women, friends since childhood, share a spacious apartment in the heart of Tel Aviv. Their high rent forces them to take in a third flatmate, Malka, a mysterious ultra-Orthodox woman who becomes part of their lives. Her strange insistence on living with two secular women touches Yael's heart and arouses Shlomit's suspicions. Slowly, with various twists and turns, Malka's secret is discovered. The Orthodox woman's wretched fate moves both young women, and they become determined to help her.

Rosenzweig's Freedom

89 minutes, color, 1998
German with English subtitles

In this fast-paced thriller, two Jewish brothers, children of Holocaust survivors, confront the ugly, growing wave of extreme right-wing violence in Germany. It's 1991, and a group of skinheads attacks a foreign-workers' hostel the same night a neo-Nazi leader is shot dead. Because he was in the hostel with his Vietnamese girlfriend that night, Michael Rosenzweig becomes the main suspect. But Michael can't recall what happened.

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New, Restored NCJF, Comedy, Drama, Around the World

Documentary


Finding Leah Tickotsky: A Discovery of Heritage in Poland

48 minutes, color, USA 2010

In the summer of 2007, as a Stanford University student, Sarah Golabek-Goldman traveled to Poland to teach English in the village of Zakliczyn. While there, she also visited the towns where her family lived before World War II to search for Poles who remembered her relatives. In the village of Jasionowka, Sarah discovered the gravestone of her great-great-grandmother, Leah Tickotsky.

From Philadelphia to the Front

37 minutes, color, USA 2005

One of the few documentaries to explore the stories of Jewish-American World War II soldiers, this film focuses on six Philadelphia veterans in their 80s, and their individual experiences during the war. For Jews, the war to defeat Hitler had deeply personal significance. The film premiered at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia as part of "A Soldier's Story: Intimate Artifacts of World War II," an exhibition of still photographs and letters. Watch the trailer here.

The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg

As Hitler invaded Europe, a young Jewish baseball player challenged Babe Ruth's homerun record. This is the story of how he became an American hero.

Mamadrama: The Jewish Mother in Cinema

73 minutes, color, Australia, 2000

Jewish mothers are the most easily maligned image of Jewish women found in movies and television. You know who they are: the caricature of the overbearing, emasculating, long-suffering mother ever ready with mountains of food. Australian director Monique Schwarz takes a funny, penetrating look at how the loving and affectionate portrayals in early Yiddish and Hollywood silent movies developed into the Jewish Mother of modern Hollywood and, conversely, the more flesh and blood characterizations in contemporary Israeli cinema

New, Restored NCJF, Comedy, Drama, Around the World

Around the World


The Bene Israel: A Family Portrait

33 minutes, color, India 1994
Marathi with English subtitles

An intimate family portrait and a fascinating ethnographic study of the Bene Israel, one of three groups of Jews living in India today. The film documents one family's religious and cultural traditions representing this unique brand of Judaism. Through stories, songs, family prayer and community ritual, the film introduces the viewer to three generations of Indian Jews.

Last Jews of Libya

50 minutes, color, USA 2007
English, Hebrew, Italian, and Arabic with English subtitles

Some 36,000 Jews lived in Libya at the end of World War II; today, none remain. "Last Jews of Libya" documents the final decades of a centuries-old North African Sephardic Jewish community through the lives of a remarkable family.

Minyan in Kaifeng: A Modern Journey to an Ancient Chinese Jewish Community

74 minutes, color, USA 2002

The last rabbi of Kaifeng died well over a century ago, and today's descendants of the ancient Chinese Jewish community have never celebrated Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest. Now, two curious families have invited a modern group of Jewish travelers into their homes, leading to a reunion a thousand years in the making.

Of Stars and Shamrocks: Boston's Jews and Irish

55 minutes, color/B&W, USA 1995

A provocative documentary chronicles the relationship between Boston's Jews and Irish as both groups fought for a foothold in the New World.

Shalom Ya'll

60 minutes, color, USA 2002

Traveling in a vintage Cadillac, filmmaker Brian Bain, a third-generation Jew from New Orleans, sets out on a 4,200-mile road trip through the Jewish American South.

Tijuana Jews

52 minutes, color, USA 2005
English and Spanish with English subtitles

Throughout the 20th century, thousands of European Jews sailed to Mexico looking for opportunity. This documentary explores the blending of Jewish and Mexican cultures and customs in an unlikely place.