Temple Israel to host Israeli Film Festival

The cast of the Israeli film ‘The Women’s Balcony.’  Photo: Itiel Zion/Menemsha Films

Congregation Temple Israel is hosting its 11th annual Israeli Film Festival on from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday, March 11. The festival will screen two Israeli films —  “The Women’s Balcony” and “Past Life” — and offer Israeli-style refreshments and cuisine during intermission. 

The 2016 comedy-drama “The Women’s Balcony,” screening at 3:30 p.m., was nominated for five Israeli Academy Awards. The film depicts what happens when extremism and traditional values collide. When the women’s balcony in an Orthodox synagogue collapses, leaving the rabbi’s wife in a coma and the rabbi in shock, the congregation falls into crisis. A charismatic young rabbi appears to be a savior after the accident, but slowly starts pushing his fundamentalist ways and tries to take control. This tests the women’s friendships and creates a rift between the community’s women and men.

The film runs 96 minutes and is in Hebrew with English subtitles (suitable for middle school children and above). 

Following an intermission with Israeli-style food and refreshments, “Past Life” will be shown at 6:15 p.m.

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The award-winning 2016 film tracks the daring late 1970s odyssey of two sisters as they try to unravel a shocking wartime mystery that has cast a dark shadow on their entire lives. Sephi aspires to a career as a classical composer in the male-dominated world of classical music. Nana is an aspiring playwright. These daughters of troubled Holocaust survivors have to deal with a sudden shocking revelation that threatens to tear the family apart. As they travel through Europe in the 1970s, they are bent on uncovering the past and getting to the truth about their parents’ darkest secret. The film runs 108 minutes and is in Hebrew with English subtitles (suitable for high schoolers and above).

The event is free and open to the community, but a donation of $5 per person is suggested to help cover the cost of refreshments. Attendees are welcome to stay for one film or both. RSVP is also required at ti-stl.org/films or by phone to Jody Gerth at 314-432-8050. 

Temple Israel is located at #1 Rabbi Alvan D. Rubin Drive in Creve Coeur.  This program is co-sponsored by Temple Israel’s Israel Engagement Committee and the St. Louis Israeli community.