You may as well go out with a bang.
The Jewish International Film Festival, now in full swing in Perth, Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne, has nabbed one of the more anticipated 2019 releases for Closing. Having cast himself in ‘Jojo Rabbit,’ Director/Star Taika Waititi notably opined “what better way to insult Hitler than having him played by a Polynesian Jew;” with the ‘anti-hate satire,’ also starring Jewish actress Scarlett Johansson, set for National and State premieres at #JIFF.
“Dealing with trauma/horror/tragedy with black comedy, slapstick and political satire (e.g. ‘The Producers,’ ‘Life is Beautiful’) has always split audiences and will continue to with ‘Jojo Rabbit,’” said Festival Director Eddie Tamir. “Taika Waititi hopes the tone of his film will attract and impact audiences and heighten their awareness of the contemporary poisons of xenophobia, racism and antisemitism via this Second World War/Holocaust setting.”
Replete with documentaries about Moshe Dayan, Golda Meir, ‘King Bibi’ and ’Fiddler on the Roof’ (singalong graciously included), hit Israeli feature ‘Synonyms,’ the recently deceased Bruno Ganz as Sigmund Freud in one of his last roles (‘The Tobacconist’), a 17th Century Lithuanian-set Israeli supernatural horror and new version of the ‘Jewish Frankenstein’ myth (‘The Golem’), a dramatization of the drama that went into producing ‘Casablanca’ (‘Curtiz’), a documentary chronicling the life of the late Anton Yelchin (‘Love, Antosha’), a comedy about secret agents who can’t do anything right (‘Mossad’) and a ‘Best Babaganoush Contest,’ there’s a lot happening this year.
“JIFF has films big and small, niche and with broad appeal,” said Tamir. “We aim for audiences to get something out of each type of film and feedback has been positive.”
“Docs continue to be on equal footing to feature films. ‘Man on the Bus,’ ‘What Will Become Of Us’ and ‘Marianne and Leonard’ are big hits; as are features ‘The Other Story,’ ‘Those who Remained’ (Hungary’s Oscar entry for 2020), and ‘My Name is Sara.’
The Jewish International Film Festival is now screening in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Canberra, with extended runs in Sydney and Melbourne until November 27