November 18, 2019
Photo courtesy of AFI

AFI Fest Includes Films with Jewish Themes

The American Film Institute’s annual AFI Fest, which will take place Nov. 14-21 in Hollywood, includes screenings of several films telling Jewish stories in its lineup. 

“The Song of Names,” starring Tim Roth and Clive Owen, is about a young Polish-Jewish violin prodigy who is taken in by a music impresario in London and becomes a brother to the man’s son. When the violinist disappears on the eve of his big debut, his friend spends nearly four decades trying to find him. The answer to the mystery has to do with the Holocaust, remembrance, and a special piece of music. 

Photo courtesy of AFI

Incorporating recollections from American diplomatic envoys who witnessed historic negotiations between Yasir Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin, Ehud Barak and former President Bill Clinton, Israeli filmmaker Dror Moreh’s documentary “The Human Factor” focuses on the Middle East peace process and why it has failed. 

Several short films of Jewish interest will be presented, including the Israeli entry “The Burning Bush,” about a young woman mourning the loss of her girlfriend, and “Child,” in which an ultra-Orthodox first-time mother struggles to cope and connect with her baby. In “Tree #3,” a charismatic Israeli boy with dreams of stardom makes the most of the bit part he’s given in the school play. Lior Malka charms in the title role.

For screening times, venues, tickets and additional information, visit AFI’s website.