12 - 2 PM: Barren
Feigi and Naftali are a young childless ultraorthodox couple living with Naftali’s parents. At Rosh Hashana the young husband travels to Ukraine to pray for a child at Rabbi Nachman’s grave. During Naftali’s absence a guest is invited to stay with the family for the holiday. He introduces himself as Rabbi Eliyahu, a healer who promises a cure for Feigi’s infertility. Taking advantage of her trust and desperate desire for a child he rapes her, claiming it is part of her barren treatment. In the aftermath of the assault the charlatan is expelled, but when Naftali returns home the couple face a marital and spiritual crisis, raising fundamental questions about faith and trust.
2 - 4 PM: BrownWhite and Narrow Bridge
This thought-provoking short explores how skin color influences the development of identity in a group of biracial Israeli kids. Weaving the children’s lived experiences with findings from academic research, the filmmaker uses verbatim interviews to reveal how personal identity is more complicated for these children than simple brown or white.
2 - 4 PM: Karaoke
An offbeat comedy of manners that delights and surprises, Karaoke follows Tova and Meir, an upscale Sephardic couple in their 60s with 46 years of marriage and two grown daughters. They live a comfortable if entirely predictable life in a suburb of Tel Aviv, with Meir on sabbatical from his academic professorship and Tova running a boutique shop. Their lives undergo a series of seismic shocks when Itzik, a charismatic bachelor from Miami, moves into the building and invites them to his penthouse for karaoke nights. Tova and Meir quickly fall under the spell of Itzik’s energetic lifestyle and soon find themselves competing with one another and with their other neighbors for Itzik’s attention and approval. Will their marriage survive?
4 - 6 PM: Dead Sea Guardians
The Dead Sea -- a unique salt lake shared by Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians—is the lowest point on earth and known the world over for its exceptional geographical, biological, and historical value. Tragically, the Dead Sea is in immediate peril due to the devastating effects of climate change, overconsumption, and poor water management. This documentary tracks how an Israeli environmentalist recruits a Palestinian and a Jordanian and convinces them to join forces to save this wonder of the natural world. Their plan? Assemble a group of international swimmers to swim across the Dead Sea from Jordan to Israel. They hope this action will attract worldwide media attention and launch a regional effort strong enough to defy political realities and avert the pending environmental catastrophe.
5:45 - 7:45 PM: Israeli Dinner
Join us for an Israeli dinner immediately following the Dead Sea Guardians REEL Talk.