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 many people the Mediterranean lies at the center of imagination. In previous centuries it was a port of embarkation for adventurers seeking treasure abroad. My own ancestors were among those who abandoned poverty and turmoil in their homeland hoping to make a better life for themselves and their children in a foreign land.
Today it offers bright, warm days for the travelers of Northern Europe. And economic opportunity for refugees from Africa, the Balkans or the Middle East. It remains a vibrant crossroad for numerous cultures and peoples. Constantly transformed.
Mediterranean Focus will primarily cover art, books, cinema, food, and music not only within or from the region but will also trace the area’s influence in other parts of the world.
I am most familiar with Greece, Italy, France and Turkey but will make a conscious effort to broaden the scope of reporting. Also I welcome comments, suggestions and other input from readers.