The Jewish Film Festival kicks off with 'The Human Resources Manager' [Movies]

Print
The Jewish Film Festival kicks off with 'The Human Resources Manager' [Movies]

I realized this past weekend that I have never before been in a Jewish synagogue. In fact, I had never really been in any houses of worship belonging to any faith besides Christianity. Thus, it was with great interest that I entered the Adath Jeshurun Synagogue this past Saturday for the opening of the 14th annual Jewish Film Festival.

Two films were slated for the evening: a short, “The Constant Fire,” and the feature-length “The Human Resources Manager.” My friend and I filed in among the largely yarmulke-clad crowd (noting that we seemed to be the youngest attendees by about twenty years – no matter, but interesting) and took our seats.

“The Constant Fire” is a ten-minute film about a married couple – he is an American-born Jew, and she is Israeli – who have a disagreement about whether to leave their home in Haifa at the start of the Lebanon War in 2006. The filmmaker, Stuart Weinstock, was in attendance and hosted a brief Q&A session following the films.

Weinstock, who is American, was in his second year of film school during the Lebanon War, and the conflict moved him to make a film about it. There were several complications: finding bi-lingual actors, for instance.  In fact, one of the four actors in the film pulled out and production was put on hold for several months until a replacement could be found. Eventually, though, the film was completed and Saturday’s screening was, as he said, “the world premiere.”

The Human Resources Manager” (original Hebrew title: “שליחותו של הממונה על משאבי אנוש‎”) swept the Israeli Academy Awards in 2010, winning awards for sound, screenwriting, acting, directing, and best film. (It was Israel’s official entry for Best Foreign Film for last year’s Academy Awards, but it did not receive a nomination.) In the film, a bakery’s HR manager is required to transport the remains of a woman killed in a suicide bombing to her home in Romania. It is purely for PR purposes – the reasoning behind it is a bit complicated – but as he journeys with his various companions (including an annoying reporter, the petulant adolescent son of the deceased, and the Romanian vice-consul) he begins to find meaning in his task

The film is a Kafkaesque and, at times, comedic meditation on life, death, and family. The manager hits one obstacle after another and the task becomes ever more complicated as he strives to finish the job so he can return home in time for his daughter’s school trip. It is a brilliantly moving story; the film is available for instant viewing on Netflix, and watching is recommended.

The festival continues for the next couple of weeks with films screening at Village 8, The Temple, and Adath Jeshurun Synagogue. Complete film listings and ticket information can be found at the film festival’s website.

Image courtesy of the Internet Movie Database.

About Allan Day
My "real" job is bartending, but I'm a writer and a filmmaker, owner of Monkey's Uncle Productions LLC. I am also a single father, avid reader of books, watcher of movies, and listener of music. My idols include Kurt Vonnegut, Charlie Chaplin, Charlie Kaufman, Lloyd Kaufman, Lars von Trier, Ingmar Bergman, Thom Yorke, Jonsi, Don DeLillo, and David Foster Wallace.
More articles from Allan Day
Like us on Facebook!
Subscribe to our RSS Feed!
Follow us on Twitter!
Add us to your circles on Google+!
Follow us on Pinterest!
Follow us on Tumblr!

Search Louisville Events

More Events | Post an Event | Event Map
fri
22
sat
23
sun
24
mon
25
tue
26
wed
27
thu
28

Search Louisville Restaurants

Louisville Independent Business Alliance

 

Copyright © 2014 Louisville.com, All Rights Reserved
137 W. Muhammad Ali Boulevard, Suite 102, Louisville, KY 40202
502-625-0100
Mobile Site