Women Work

Partner With The Enemy directed by Duki Dror and Chen Shelach (Israel) 2015 documents the partnership of two women in the shipping business who set out to overcome the obstacles to cargo transport through Israeli ports to and from Palestine.


Anat and her family live in a kibbutz while Rola and her’s are in Ramallah. Their early success helps bring in new clients but increased hostilities in the region threaten to destroy the joint venture.

The full-length feature was preceded by Women In Sink, a short documentary in a Haifa hair salon.

The program will be repeated once more Friday afternoon 7 August 2015 at the Lakeside Theater in Oakland during San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 35.

For more information and tickets contact the Jewish Film Institute.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.


Class Challenge

Once In A Lifetime directed by Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar (France) 2014 is a powerful film about hope and transformation.


The drama is based on a true story about a teacher who loves her work and challenges her students to perform beyond expectations. She is able to bring out the best in them despite their reputation as an unruly collection of misfits from a poor Paris suburb.

Even though many of them are Muslim, she suggests they enter an annual essay contest about the Holocaust, working together to find out what happened to children during that horrendous time.

The film will screen two more times during the 2015 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, Saturday afternoon 1 August 2015 at the California Theatre in Berkeley and Sunday afternoon 9 August 2015 at Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael.

For more information and tickets contact: Jewish Film Institute.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.


Existential Act

One of the characters in Irrational Man, written and directed by Woody Allen (USA) 2015, wants to begin a new life in Spain. That’s the only Mediterranean connection.


The film is about what goes on in a small Eastern college after the arrival of a celebrated but troubled new philosophy professor.

He is more and more disconnected from life and any sense of personal satisfaction. However, everything changes for him and those around him when he takes drastic action.

It opens 24 July 2015 at the Landmark Embarcadero in San Francisco.

31 July 2015 at Sundance Kabuki in San Francisco, Landmark Albany Twin in Albany, Landmark Piedmont in Piedmont, Century 16 in Pleasant Hill, CineArts in Palo Alto, and Regency Cinemas in San Rafael.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.



The 35th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival runs from 23 July to 9 August 2015 in San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Palo Alto, and San Rafael.


Among the dramatic features are: A La Vie; The Law; Manpower; Mr. Kaplan; My Shortest Love Affair; Once In A Lifetime; Open Bethlehem; Papa Was Not A Rolling Stone; Partner With The Enemy; Probation Time; Red Leaves; and Villa Touma.

A couple of relevant documentaries are: The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story Of Cannon Films and Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict.

For more information contact the Jewish Film Institute.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.


Money Chase

All About E directed by Louise Wadley (Australia) 2014 is more than a lesbian romantic thriller. It covers many other issues as its main character, a glamorous DJ, sets out on a road trip after discovering a bag full of money. Along the way it’s revealed that her parents are Lebanese, that she gave up a promising career as a flutist, and also alienated the woman who loved her most.


Even though all the action takes place down under, the actor who plays her father is actually Greek as is the composer whose music plays throughout the film. It played in the recently concluded Frameline 39 and after it finishes the festival circuit it’ll be distributed by Wolfe Releasing.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.


Spanish Touch

Hidden Away directed by Mikel Rueda (Spain) 2014 is about a tentative relationship that develops between two teens, Rafa, who’s Spanish, and Ibra, a Tunisian immigrant, in the backstreets of Bilboa. They share much despite their cultural differences. Each somewhat distant from his immediate circle. United by a generous spirit.


The film screen a final time Friday evening 26 June 2015 at the Victoria Theater during Frameline 39, the San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival. For more information and tickets contact Frameline.

While this is the only dramatic feature from Spain in the festival, there are a dozen others from Latin America.

In The Gray Scale directed by Claudio Marcone (Chile) 2015 focuses on an architect who questions the traditional life he’s been leading. He withdraws from his wife and young son to assess his emotional condition. While searching Santiago for a likely monument that will deflect attention from the shoddy practices of a construction company, he is accompanied by an openly gay guide who seems to embody the qualities he desires.

This film screens a final time Sunday afternoon 28 June 2015 at the Castro Theatre during Frameline 39.

Liz In September directed by Fina Torres (Venezuela) 2015 is an adaptation of the Jane Chambers play, Last Summer At Bluefish Cove. However, he film version takes place on a beach in the Caribbean. A group of women who gather yearly in a modest resort outside of town welcomes an outsider while her car is being repaired without surprising consequences.

Mariposa directed by Marco Berger (Argentina) 2015 follows the lives of several people in two alternative realities. Hairdos deliniate one version from another but it’s still a challenge to follow. It’s an interesting but challenging concept made more difficult by the quick pace of the subtitles.

Frameline 39 continues through the coming weekend. For more information and tickets contact Frameline.

In The Gray Scale and Liz In September are also on the program of Outfest in Los Angeles next month.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.


Graphic Normandy

Gemma Bovery directed by Anne Fontaine (France) 2004 is based on the graphic novel by the same name written by Posy Simmonds. It takes place in the village where Flaubert wrote his classic work, Madam Bovary. However, the time is the present.

GEMMA BOVERYRéalisé par Anne Fontaine

GEMMA BOVERYRéalisé par Anne Fontaine

Much of the story is seen through the eyes of a local baker who’s smitten by the young English woman who settles nearby with her husband Charlie. The baker begins to imagine the modern Gemma moving toward a tragic end as did Emma in the Flaubert novel.

The film is now showing at the Sundance Kabuki in San Francisco, Regency Cinemas in San Rafael, Rialto Cinemas Elmwood in Berkeley, and State Theater Modesto in Modesto.

Also Ritz at the Bourne in Philadelphia; Music Hall, Portsmouth in Portsmouth; Enzian Theater in Orlando; Cosford Cinema in Coral Gables; and Varsity Ashland in Ashland.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.