JULY 16 - KARAOKE
Karaoke is a compelling and thoroughly engaging film about human relationships. A bittersweet comedy, it offers an optimistic portrait of midlife self-discovery featuring both poignant wisdom and barbed humor. Meir and Tova have been married 46 years and live a comfortable, if passionless, life in an upscale apartment complex in a suburb of Tel Aviv. Meir is a quiet and introverted man on sabbatical from teaching; Tova, attractive and gregarious, works in a fashion boutique at the mall. Everything changes when Itzik, a worldly and charming bachelor, moves into the penthouse apartment in their building and invites them to one of his Karaoke nights. The film features two of Israel’s most noted actors, Sasson Gabay (Shtisel, The Band’s Visit) and Lior Ashkenazi (Footnote, HBO’s Valley Of Tears).
Films are only available to Sponsors of the Summer Institute and members of the MV Hebrew Center.
JULY 23 - BOYCOTT
Boycott is a documentary film that follows three individuals who filed suit against their state governments (Arizona, Texas, and Arkansas) when their respective state business contracts were cancelled because they refused to sign a pledge stating that they would not engage in any boycott of Israel. Unbeknownst to most Americans, 33 states have enacted similar laws. The filmmakers make a compelling argument that boycotts have long been a tool used by Americans, including farm workers and civil rights leaders, to rally for social and political change. They question what impact anti-boycott legislation might have on everyday Americans' ability to express their political views on a range of issues.
JULY 30 - BARREN
Barren is a memorable Israeli drama, based on true events, that raises fundamental questions about faith, marriage and trust. Feigi and Naftali are a young, childless Hasidic couple living with Naftali’s parents in Tzfat. They have spent years fruitlessly trying to conceive a child, preferring to focus on prayer over fertility treatments. When Naftali travels to the Ukraine during Rosh Hashanah to pray for a child, a charismatic rabbi who claims to have healing powers is invited to stay with the family. Taking advantage of Feigi’s trust and desire for a child, he convinces her to undergo “barren” treatment. Beautifully photographed and acted, the film presents the ultra-Orthodox society in which the couple lives as complex and multifaceted rather than uniformly repressive.