The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul is presenting the 2012 Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF), which runs through May 3 on five screens at the St. Anthony Main Theatre, 115 Main St., S.E., Minneapolis.
The festival includes a “Spotlight on the Middle East” — curated by Alissa Simon, senior programmer at the Palm Springs International Film Festival — that highlights films from Israel, Arab countries in North Africa and Turkey.
The festival will also present the Al Milgrom Day Celebration, marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the U Film Society, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 14 at the Festival Central Pavilion, 125 S.E. Main St., Minneapolis. The free event will include complimentary appetizers, wine, beer and cocktail specials, and entertainment by Willie Murphy.
Nicky’s Family, the story of Sir Nicholas Winton, who organized the rescue of Czech and Slovak children before World War II, will be shown April 22 and 29 as part of the 2012 Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival. (Photo: Courtesy of MSPIFF)
Read below for the festival’s offerings with Jewish interest.
- This is My Land… Hebron, 3 p.m. Friday, April 13 and 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 17. This “vivid portrait” of the largest city in the occupied West Bank constantly brims with potential violence and outrage.
- Funeral Season, 5 p.m. Saturday, April 14 and 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 17. Described as a “comedic ghost story,” the film follows a Canadian Jew as he embarks on a road trip across Cameroon’s most joyous funeral celebrations.
- Restoration, 4:15 p.m. Sunday, April 15 and 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, April 25. The film tells the story of the relationships among 70-year-old Yaakov Fidelman — who is struggling to hold on to his antique restoration workshop — his son, Noah, and his new apprentice, Anton.
- Policeman (Ha’shoter), 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, April 17 and 6:45 p.m. Sunday, April 22. After Yaron, part of a group of elite policemen belonging to the Israeli anti-terrorist unit, has an encounter with a radical, violent and extraordinary group, it causes him to confront the Israeli class war as well as with the war within his own soul.
- The Rescuers, 3 p.m. Friday, April 20 and 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, April 24. The film tells the true story of 12 diplomats whose efforts saved tens of thousands of Jews from the horrors of the Nazi death camps.Harbour of Hope (North American premiere), 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 20 and 12:30 p.m. Sunday, April 22. This documentary tells the story of three concentration camp survivors who were rescued by the Red Cross and transported to Malmö, Sweden. The film features Josef Rozenberg, of St. Louis Park, who will speak at the screenings with the Swedish filmmakers.
- Nicky’s Family, 4 p.m. Sunday, April 22 and 3:45 p.m. Sunday, April 29. The film is the story of Sir Nicholas Winton, then a young English stockbroker, who anonymously organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before World War II.
- The Collaborator and His Family (U.S. premiere), 4:45 p.m. Monday, April 23 and 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 24. Ibrahim is forced to flee his native land under an imminent threat of death and escapes to Israel, while his wife and children stay behind in the Palestine Occupied Territory.
- The Moon Is Jewish, 9:10 p.m. Monday, April 23 and 2 p.m. Friday, April 27. This compelling documentary tells the story of Pawel, a skinhead in Warsaw, who discovered he had Jewish ancestry and is now an Orthodox Jew.
- Free Men, 2:45 p.m. Friday, April 27 and 4:50 p.m. Thursday, May 3. Based on actual events that occurred in Paris under the Nazi occupation, the film follows Muslim authorities suspected of aiding the Resistance and harboring Jews in the mosque.
- Three Stories from Galicia, 4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 28 and 12:30 p.m. Sunday, April 29. The film tells three stories: of a Jewish man whose family chose to save the life of its worst enemy; of a Ukrainian woman who endured the theft of her children to save her country; and of a Polish priest who risked everything to end the sectarian hatred that tore at his parish. The filmmaker will speak.
- The Flat, 7:20 p.m. Tuesday, May 1 and 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, May 2. The film tells the story of what happens when family members clean out the apartment of their recently deceased grandmother, who led a complex life.
For information about the festival, visit: www.mspfilmfest.org.