Considering that it falls on the eve of Israel's sixtieth anniversary, it's a happy coincidence that the emphasis on Israeli film is so heavy this year at the twelfth annual Denver Jewish Film Festival, a well-paced ten-day spectacular hosted by the Mizel Arts and Culture Center. "In the past, we've had films from all around the world," festival director Roberta Bloom says. "But this year, it just seemed like all the best features we looked at were from Israel."
In light of that, tonight's opening-night film, The Galilee Eskimos, becomes all the more poignant: A comedy with teeth, Eskimos tells the story of a group of aging kibbutzim who are left behind to fend for themselves by the collective's younger denizens.
And if you bend the metaphor a bit, that notion might suggest yet another innovation of the fest: This year's lineup shoots for more universal appeal for both families and younger adult viewers by including such films as Jellyfish (intersecting plots involving three women in modern-day Tel Aviv), Making Trouble (a documentary about Jewish comediennes), the children's film Little Heroes and the Academy Award-nominated war flick Beaufort in its many-colored palette.
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The Denver Jewish Film Festival begins tonight and continues through February 16 in the MACC's Shwayder Theatre, 350 South Dahlia Street, in the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center; ticket prices range from $6 to $8 general admission per film to $150 for an all-inclusive Producer's Pass, with various packages and options in between. For details, go to www.maccjcc.org or call 303-316-6360.
Thu., Feb. 7, 7 p.m., 2008