SFJFF39 is proud to showcase several films from past and present Bay Area filmmakers or which celebrate the vibrancy of local communities and contribute to the strong tradition of independent filmmaking thriving here today.
Pauline Kael is among the most famous and divisive film critics of all time. Her praise helped uplift the careers of Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and others, while her putdowns left lasting wounds. She was a pioneering woman in a male chauvinistic world. This nuanced portrait captures her complexity while revisiting late-twentieth-century cinema through her lens, using ample film clips, never-before-seen archival, wide-ranging interviews and her writings voiced by Sarah Jessica Parker.Read More
"Amos Nachoum is one of the greatest underwater photographers of all times.Fascinated by the most fearsome creatures on Earth, he has developed a unique approach, that puts him face to face with his subjects, without any protection. He has swam with and photographed Anacondas, Giant Leopard Seals, Great White Sharks, Orcas and Crocodiles, but Now, at the age of 65, he is about to face his ultimate challenge: to swim, face face, unprotected with A Polar Bear.While he is on this journey to the Canadian high Arctic, he will also have to deal with an old and painful memory…."Read More
Two boxers, one Jewish and one Arab, share their life story and their similarities.Read More
Guy Hircefeld, a veteran that served in the Israeli military at the start of its occupation of Palestine in the 1980s, now fights against Israeli occupation, ethnic cleansing, and environmental warfare. His only weapon is a camera.Read More
In 1974 a local TV news crew station came into our home to document and learn about Jewish rituals. A narrative evolves about the formation of American Jewish identity, and transforms into an analogy for the current rise in nationalism and anti-Semitism in America and the world.Read More
Directed by Transparent producer Rhys Ernst and adapted by Ariel Schrag from her novel of the same name, Adam drops us down in the hipster lesbian and trans culture of Brooklyn, 2006. It’s essentially a coming-of-age story about a 17-year-old straight, cisgender male who falls in love with a lesbian after she mistakes him for a transgender man. Adam decides to maintain this Shakespearean deception and a satirical and nuanced exploration of identity ensues.Read More
Loosely following a traditional Passover Seder, the events of Exodus are retold by Moses, Aharon, the Angel of Death, Jesus, and the director's own father. But there's another side to this story: that of the Goddess, humankind's original deity. Seder-Masochism resurrects the Great Mother in a tragic struggle against the forces of Patriarchy.Read More
Israeli human-rights lawyer Lea Tsemel is a force that won't be deterred. Having defended Palestinians against a host of criminal charges in Israeli courts for nearly five decades, she is a staunch supporter of compassion within the court system. Frequently subjected to harsh criticism in the press and in the public view, Tsemel remains optimistically steadfast in her belief that justice can be served.In this impressive documentary, Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellache masterfully juxtapose two of Tsemel's cases, one professional and the other personal: the defense of a minor accused of attempted murder and a past case in which she defended her activist husband from an accusation of treason against the state. Delicately animated sequences conceal defendants' identities as Tsemel frankly addresses their best possible chances for acquittal, while interviews with Tsemel's adult children reveal her unique ability to see the humanity of those accused. Advocate is an original, provocative film that both exposes the human fallout of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and provides hope for a peaceful resolution.Read More
$300 Members / $325 General Public
New for 2018! The San Francisco Pass gives you premier entry to all SFJFF38 programs at the Castro Theatre including Big Nights and regular screenings (some exceptions may apply).