Celebrating its 40th Anniversary, Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival is world-renowned and has been a qualifying festival for the Academy Awards for the past two decades. Scores of films will be screened during this summer highlight festival, which will take place from Monday, Aug. 8 to Sunday, Aug. 14 at venues around Rhode Island including the Dwares Jewish Community Center in Providence.
Most of the films shown at the JCC will have one of two basic themes: The Holocaust and coming of age/youth. Some of these are animated, such as the four from Israel. Some will be shown at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 11 and others at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 14. At press time, the schedules have not yet been finalized, so check jewishrhody.org for more information.
Please be advised that some of these films may include some sexual themes. The Holocaust films are not appropriate for children, and the French film, Women of Valor, not only discusses sexual maturity but contains a secular doctor’s brief social critique of Hassidism.
Directed by Uri Lotan; 11 min. Israel/United Kingdom, 2021
Eviah, a young and timid kid on the brink of puberty, and his best friend sneak into the Black Slide, the most terrifying ride in Aqua Fun. There, Eviah will gain insight to prepare him for events about to unfold at home.
Letter to a Pig
Directed by Tal Kantor; 17 min. Israel/France, 2022
A Holocaust survivor reads a letter he wrote to the pig who saved his life. A young schoolgirl hears his testimony in class and sinks into a twisted dream where she confronts questions of identity, collective trauma and the extremes of human nature.
Les Vertueuses (Women of Virtue)
Directed by Stéphanie Halfon; 30 min. France, 2021
Etel, a 9-year-old girl who lives in the Hasidic community in Paris, gets her period for the first time. Myriam, her mother, finally looks at her as if she were a woman. Etel is blessed, until she finds out that in her religion, women are considered impure when they have their period.
Entrance of Pink Elephants
Directed by Tatiana Fedorovskaya; 17 min. Ukraine, 2022
Three elephants must entertain superhumans today, so they might live tomorrow. Josef, an artist of the Jewish “Cabaret-Terezin,” performs each week with his dog, Kasper, for an audience of Nazis and their wives. It's an absurd performance in pink elephant costumes, which Josef invented to ridicule what is happening in the “city donated by the Führer to the Jews.”
Survival of a Spirit
Directed by Patricia Salier; 50 min. USA, 2021
Eva Salier (née Hellendag), a young Dutch Jewish artist, is forced into slave labor by the Nazis. She struggles to stay alive by learning to make radio tubes for German fighter planes and bombers, transported by cattle car to Nazi factories in concentration camps and dangerous underground factories. She clings to the emotional bond created within her group of Dutch women prisoners, like a family, keeping each other’s spirits up. Her occasional glimpse of humorous situations in the concentration camps, shown through animation, makes her laugh and feel human again, if for just a moment and keep her going long enough to survive.
Directed by Osi Wald, Noa Berman-Herzberg; 17 min. Israel, 2021
“Holy Holocaust!” describes the unusual friendship between Noa, a white Israeli woman and Jennifer, a black German, who for 22 years believed that they easily rise above historical, political and geographical obstacles, but then it surprisingly explodes right in their sarcastic faces, turning them, against their will, into the “Third generation.”
Directed by Mayan Engelman, Eliran Peled; 8 min. Israel, 2020
Jerusalem in 1938 is a divided city. At the “cinema Rex,” a Jewish boy and an Arab girl will form a soulful friendship based on one mutual language – the language of cinema.
Directed by Ivan Kander; 14 min. USA, 2021
Hoping to say Kaddish after their mother’s death, Leah and Ariel find themselves one person short of making a minyan. As a result, they turn to an unconventional solution.
Directed by Carlo Ang: 4:31 min. USA, 2021
Told entirely through voicemail messages saved by her daughter over the span of more than 10 years, Nancy is a short story about a mother’s unconditional (and occasionally overbearing) love for her child – as showcased through the lens of one particularly unique matriarch.
According to George T. Marshall, Flickers executive director and festival founder, “This is our first year since 2020 that we are expanding our hybrid model for the festival with more in-person programming and screenings… It is long overdue.”
Tickets for each series (Thursday and Sunday) are $10 and are available at the door. Tickets purchased online have an additional $2 fee. For more information about the festival, please visit www.rifilmfest.org. The Full Schedule and ticketing can be found at prog.tsharp.xyz/en/riiff/40