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JEWISH IDENTITY
 
Following in the footsteps of Biblical heroines like Sarah, Esther and Naomi, these films profile Jewish women who became leaders, often in situations that called for extreme bravery under challenging circumstances.

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films in this collection

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Adio Kerida (Goodbye Dear Love)
A film by Ruth Behar

Distinguished Anthropologist Ruth Behar (recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship) returns to her native Cuba to profile the island’s remaining Sephardic Jews and chronicle her family’s journey to the U.S. as Cuban-Jewish exiles. Highlighting themes of expulsion and departure that are at the crux of the Sephardic legacy, Behar seeks reconciliation with Cubans on the island and advocates for the possibility of return and renewal. She debunks myths about the country’s Jewish community and unravels the influence of interfaith marriage, Afro-Cuban santería, tourism and the embargo on contemporary Cuban-Sephardic cultural identity. More

Cine Festival - PREMIO MESQUITE Honorable Mention
East Lansing Film Festival - Documentary Award

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Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh
A film by Roberta Grossman

At only 22, Hungarian poet Hannah Senesh made the ultimate sacrifice – having already escaped Nazi-occupied Europe for Palestine and freedom, she returned, parachuting in behind enemy lines in a valiant effort to save Hungary’s Jews from deportation to Auschwitz and certain death. Captured immediately upon crossing the border into Hungary, Hannah was tortured and taken to a prison in Budapest, yet she refused to reveal the coordinates of her fellow resistance fighters - even when they also arrested her mother, Catherine. Hannah became a symbol of courage for her fellow prisoners, encouraging them to remain in good spirits, never losing faith in her Jewish identity, even as she was led out to be executed by firing squad. More

Academy Awards, Short List Best Documentary
Heartland Film Festival, Crystal Heart Award

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Bloodlines
A film by Cynthia Connop

Bettina Goering, grandniece of Hermann Goering, has long tried to bury the dark legacy of her family history. Painter Ruth Rich, a daughter of Holocaust survivors, cannot resolve her deep-rooted anger over the suffering of her parents and the loss of an older brother in the Holocaust. Bettina seeks out Ruth in an attempt to confront her enormous guilt and her fear that the capacity for evil is in her blood. When the women meet, their hidden guilt and rage clash in a series of intimate and extraordinary meetings. More


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Daring to Resist: Three Women Face the Holocaust
A film by Martha Goell Lubell and Barbara Attie

Why would a young person choose resistance rather than submission during Hitler's reign of terror while her world was collapsing around her? In this gripping documentary, three Jewish women answer this question by recalling their lives as teenagers in occupied Holland, Hungary and Poland, when they refused to remain passive as the Nazis rounded up local Jewish populations. Defying her family's wishes, each girl found an unexpected way of fighting back--as a ballet dancer shuttling Jews to safe houses and distributing resistance newspapers; as a photographer and partisan waging guerrilla war against the Germans; and as a leader in an underground Zionist group smuggling Jews across the border. More


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Elida Schogt Trilogy
Films by Elida Schogt

Elida Schogt’s deeply personal trilogy of short documentaries on Holocaust memory: ZYKLON PORTRAIT (1999), THE WALNUT TREE (2000) and SILENT SONG (2001) have been screened around the globe, garnering numerous awards. This trilogy includes: More


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My Israel – Revisiting the Trilogy
A film by Yulie Cohen

Few filmmakers have probed issues of Israeli nationalism and Israeli-Palestinian relations more completely or intimately than Tel Aviv-born Yulie Cohen. In My Israel, Cohen revisits her acclaimed trilogy My Terrorist (2002), My Land Zion (2004), and My Brother (2007) with new footage, fresh perspective, and her trademark fearlessness. More


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My Terrorist
A film by Yulie Cohen

In 1978, filmmaker Yulie Cohen was wounded in a terrorist attack by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. A stewardess for the Israeli airline El Al, she was attacked along with other crewmembers when getting off the bus to the hotel in London. In a remarkable twist of faith, twenty-three years later Cohen began questioning the causes of violence between Israelis and Palestinians and started to consider helping release the man who almost killed her, Fahad Mihyi. More


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Ramleh
A film by Michal Aviad

A timely and powerful look at the ideological, cultural and political conflicts in contemporary Israel, this highly original documentary profiles three seemingly disparate women residing in the town of Ramleh. Located in the heartland of the Israel, this former Palestinian territory serves as a microcosm of the beliefs, biases and conflicts of women living in the country today. More


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Salata Baladi (An Egyptian Salad)
A film by Nadia Kamel

Award-winning Egyptian filmmaker Nadia Kamel’s heritage is a complex blend of religions and cultures. Her mother is a half-Jewish, half-Italian Christian who converted to Islam when she married Nadia’s half-Turkish, half-Ukrainian father. Prompted by the realization that her 10-year-old nephew Nabeel is growing up in an Egyptian society where talk of culture clashes is all too common, she urges her feminist, pacifist, activist mother, Mary Rosenthal, to share their diverse family history. More

Mumbai Int’l Film Festival, Golden Conch, Best Long Documentary, & Special Prize, Int’l Critics Jury FIPRESCI
San Francisco Arab Film Festival, Noor Award, Outstanding Documentary

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Sweatshop Cinderella: A Portrait of Anzia Yezierska
A film by Suzanne Wasserman

In the forefront of early twentieth-century American literature about immigrant women’s lives, Anzia Yezierska’s work includes short fiction, novels, and essays, and her output spans 50 years. SWEATSHOP CINDERELLA, by award-winning filmmaker/historian Suzanne Wasserman, vividly depicts this Jewish immigrant writer’s amazing story. More


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Thunder in Guyana
A film by Suzanne Wasserman

THUNDER IN GUYANA is the remarkable tale of Janet Jagan, a young woman from Chicago who married Guyanese activist Cheddi Jagan, and set off for the British colony to start a socialist revolution. For more than fifty years, the couple fought tirelessly to liberate the country from colonial rule and exploitation—despite battering by the international press, imprisonment and the intervention of world figures including Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy. Free and fair elections were instituted in the early 90's, and Janet Jagan was elected president of Guyana in 1997, the first foreign-born and first woman to serve in the role. More


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Treyf
A film by Alisa Lebow and Cynthia Madansky

TREYF —“unkosher” in Yiddish— is an unorthodox documentary by and about two Jewish lesbians who met and fell in love at a Passover “seder”. With personal narration, real and imagined educational films, and haunting imagery, filmmakers Alisa Lebow and Cynthia Madansky examine the Jewish identity of their upbringings and its impact on their lives. Incisive cultural critics, astute, poignant, and poetic—never cynical—they weave their way from New York to Jerusalem in pursuit of a progressive, secular Jewish identity that draws from their childhood reminiscences as much as from their contemporary queer lives. More

Jerusalem FF, Mayor’s Award, Jewish Experience
Chicago Film Festival, Certificate of Merit



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Equity in Education


The films in this essential collection inspire social change in education. Learn about the role and impact of Title IX, examine gender disparities in math and science, and follow the personal story of an insightful high-school student whose life has been shaped by busing and school integration. See the full collection here.

Behind the Lens:
Women in Cinema

This extraordinary collection features titles that celebrate the lives and achievements of immigrants in the U.S. and explore ongoing struggles of immigrants today.

Shooting Women

As directors, producers, actors, and screenwriters, women have utilized the power of film to create and transform their stories and images. From sexual politics as a cinematic subject in SUFFRAGETTES IN THE SILENT CINEMA and as a cinematographic choice in FILMING DESIRE to interviews with women directors around the globe in SHOOTING WOMEN and SISTERS OF THE SCREEN, this collection presents a look at women’s crucial contributions to cinema’s history and global reach.


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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us