Israeli filmmakers Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado’s new film Big Bad Wolves is “mesmerizing from start to finish,” according to the Hollywood Reporter, and the “best film of the year” according to American film director Quentin Tarantino.
Big Bad Wolves focuses on a series of brutal murders that put the lives of three men on a collision course: the father of the latest victim, a vigilante police detective and a religious studies teacher who is the main suspect. Big Bad Wolves probes whether a victim ever has the legitimate right to turn into a bloodthirsty vigilante.
The writer-directors said they took their inspiration from contemporary Israeli society and its atmosphere of terrorist violence and “unremitting feelings of being persecuted, inherent intolerance and macho behaviour topped with a historical craving for vengeance.” Their first feature, Rabies, caused a sensation at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival and was dubbed Israel’s first horror film. Big Bad Wolves opens Jan. 17 in theatres across Canada.
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Israeli Film: Set in war-torn Beirut in 1982, director Eran Riklis’s 2012 film Zaytoun is a “touching and inspiring” story of survival, reconciliation and friendship between an imprisoned Israeli pilot and a 10-year-old Palestinian. The Toronto Jewish Film Festival Chai Tea offering, in Hebrew with subtitles, is being screened at City Playhouse Theatre, 1000 New Westminster Dr., Vaughan, Sunday, Jan. 19. Tea at 4 p.m., film at 5 p.m. $15. www.tjff.com, 416-324-9121.
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A Polish Town Remembered: Fifty years after it was originally published in Hebrew and Yiddish, The Memorial (Yizkor) Book for the Jewish Community of Ciechanow has just been republished in English translation in an attractive hardcover 488-page volume by JewishGen of New York. The book will appeal chiefly to historians and genealogists. Torontonians Miriam Dashkin Beckerman and Stan Zeidenberg were the translator and the project co-ordinator respectively.
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Arts in Brief
• Film critic Shlomo Schwartzberg presents Defining Greatness – Director Steven Spielberg, a series of lectures with film clips about the man who is arguably the most famous filmmaker in the world, with such titles as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, ET the Extraterrestrial, Jaws and Lincoln to his credit. Miles Nadal JCC, Mondays from Jan. 20 to Mar. 17, 7 to 9 p.m. $90 for eight lectures or $11.25 drop-in per lecture. 416-924-6211, ext. 606.
• Friends of Yiddish presents a screening of The Yiddish Cinema, narrated by David Mamet, and introduced by film critic Shlomo Schwartzberg. In Yiddish and English; free admission. Beth Tikvah Synagogue, 3080 Bayview Ave. (between Sheppard and Finch). Sunday, Jan. 12, 2 p.m. Please RSVP to Sandy, 416-458-1440 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.