Two films, as the festival moved from the Oshman Family JCC to the AMC Saratoga
THEODORE BIKEL: IN THE SHOES OF SHOLOM ALEICHEM. Full of witty Yiddish humor, Theodore Bikel himself (who passed away back in July) traces his career in parallel with that of Sholom Aleichem. A consummate storyteller, telling the story of another consummate storyteller. What's not to love? Through stories, performance, interviews, archival footage we get not one, but two life stories of people who have kept the Yiddish experience and wit alive.
ORANGE PEOPLE. A family tale of three generations of Moroccan Israelis. Modernity and tradition clash in bright colors (mostly orange, of course.) Grandmother Zohora serves as sort of a narcoleptic oracle, falling asleep and waking up with visions and advice. Her daughters don't have the gift, instead channeling their energy into cooking, although with widely varying styles. But her granddaughter might have the gift. And might even use it, if she weren't so modern. The story unfolds slowly and naturally, we learn of the trauma in Zohora's past (it's revealed early on that she was forced into marriage at a young age, but only later do we learn the extent of the trauma) and the tension that brings to the battle of tradition/mysticism vs. modernity is mostly what drives the movie. That and a gorgeously shot, interesting subculture in Israel.
Total Running Time: 168 minutes
My Total Minutes: 406,823