The Women’s Balcony, written by Shlomit Nehama and directed by Emil Ben-Shimon (Israel) 2016, begins with a tragic incident.
An accident in a Jerusalem synagogue during a bar mitzvah seriously injures the rabbi’s wife and traumatizes the rabbi. Damage to the building interior and destruction of the holy scroll displaces the congregation.
An attempt to hold prayer in a temporary location nearly fails before the arrival of a young rabbi and his students. However, the small Orthodox community is challenged by the stricter demands of the charismatic new cleric.
The most serious problem develops along the gender line, dividing women from men. As the situation worsens, there’s a showdown in which the wives stand united.
This charming dramatic comedy is currently playing at Lincoln Plaza Cinema, East 86th Street Cinema, and Quad Cinema in New York.
It opens 9 June 2017 at Harkins Shea 14, Scottsdale; Cobble Hill Cinemas, Brooklyn; and ShowRoom Cinema, Asbury Park.
Additional runs begin 16 June 2017 at the Clay Theatre, San Francisco; Camera 3 Cinemas, San Jose; Palace 17 Theater, Hartford; Bethesda Row Cinema, Washington; Siskel Film Center, Chicago; The Charles, Baltimore; and Edina Cinema, Minneapolis.
See www.menemshafilms.com for more information, including additional venues and dates.
copyright © 2017 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved
Counting Happiness directed by Venetia Evripiotou (Greece/India) 2012 was the first of three short works on the opening night of the San Francisco Greek Film Festival. Most of it was shot outdoors somewhere in urban India. It follows a young child who spends most days trying to sell wind-up chicks on the street.
Rosmarinus Officinalis directed by Andreas Siadimas (Greece) 2008 is about an unexpected encounter between a couple lost on their way to a scientific conference in Chania and a mythic Cretan well-versed in the medicinal properties of plants. It set the comic tone for the films that followed.
The Foreigner directed by Alethea Avramis (US/Greece) 2011, unlisted in the festival program, was a wonderful surprise and definitely a highlight of the evening. After the mayor of a remote Greek village receives notice that government services are to be cut at the end of the month because the population fell below 35, he seizes the opportunity to rectify the situation by encouraging a British tourist who stumbles on the village to settle there. During the Q & A that followed, the director revealed that a feature-length narrative with a Swedish producer is now in development.
Small Crime directed by Christos Georgiou (Greece) 2009 is a full-length feature about a young ambitious policemen stranded on a backwater island who tries his best to distinguish himself so he’ll receive a promotion and transfer to a more interesting post. When he recovers the body of a man at the bottom of a cliff, he launches a full investigation despite the hostility of nearly everyone around him.
The San Francisco Greek Film Festival continues nightly at the Delancey Street Screening Room, 600 Embarcadero (near Brannan Street) through Sunday 19 May 2013. For more information and tickets see www.grfilm.com
copyright © 2013 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved