Documentary Film Series

Please join us once a month for a FREE documentary film screening. 

Special thanks to our SPONSORS, who enable us to screen these films free to the public. 
Email lbell@azjhs.org to RSVP or for sponsorship information

Special thanks also to the City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture and Arizona Commission for the Arts for supporting our documentary film series and other fine arts and culture programs.

September 20, 2018
There Are Jews Here (2016)
(Sponsored by Elaine Waxman and Bob Segelbaum)

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There Are Jews Here provides an excellent window into the plight of many small-town Jewish communities as they face dwindling Jewish populations and attempt to plan for their futures. Along the way, the film touches upon related topics such as the declining role of Jewish merchants in small-town America, the impact of intermarriage on Jewish life, and the way small communities cope with the absence of regular clergy. Moreover, by highlighting one individual or family in each of the four towns that are the focus of this documentary, the film introduces a moving human-interest element into its narrative. Ultimately, this film provides insight into a significant reality of early twenty-first century Jewish life in America, the gradual disappearance of many small-town Jewish communities. 90 min.


October 9, 2018

Remember Baghdad (2016)
 
(Sponsored by Gerald Weiner)

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Remember Baghdad presents the largely untold story Iraq’s Jewish community in the Twentieth Century.  From picnics on the Tigris and royal balls, to hangings, imprisonment and escape, moving individual stories take us from past to present unfolding onto the wider story of the Middle East. The film discusses how Nazi influence during World War II, the self-serving monarchy imposed by the British, and of the creation Israel played out in lives of Iraqi Jews.  After 2,600 years living peacefully in the area, Iraq’s Jewish community vanished in just one generation. With vivid testimony, home movies and news archive, as well as footage from Iraq today, we follow the lives of four families trying to make sense of turbulent times.  One man even goes back to buy a house in Iraq, dreaming to plant a seed of hope.  Remember Baghdad is history made personal, revealing the little-known but fascinating back story of how the disintegration began in a country that has exploded into our lives today.  Includes subtitles.   72 min.


November 13, 2018
G.I. Jews (2017)
(Sponsored by Desert Foothills Jewish Community Association)

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This is the profound and remarkable story of the 550,000 Jewish Americans who served their country in World War II. These brave men and women fought for their nation and for Jewish people worldwide. Like all Americans, they fought against fascism, but they also waged a more personal fight – to save their brethren in Europe. Jewish servicemen were also among the first to assist the survivors of the Nazi concentration camps liberated by American troops. After years of struggle, these soldiers emerged transformed, more powerfully American and more deeply Jewish, determined to continue the fight for equality and tolerance at home.  84 min.

 

December 11, 2018 
Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas (2017)
(Sponsored by Friends of AZJHS at Westminster Village)

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Set almost entirely in a Chinese restaurant, Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas is an offbeat, irreverent musical documentary that tells the story of a group of Jewish songwriters, including Irving Berlin, Mel Tormé, Jay Livingston, Ray Evans, Gloria Shayne Baker and Johnny Marks, who wrote the soundtrack to Christianity’s most musical holiday. It’s an amazing tale of immigrant outsiders who became irreplaceable players in pop culture’s mainstream – a generation of songwriters who found in Christmas the perfect holiday in which to imagine a better world, and for at least one day a year, make us believe in it.   52 min.

 

January 8, 2019
After Auschwitz (2017)
(Sponsored by Anne & Ronald Weinstock and Susan Owens)

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"You're free. Go home." For survivors of the Holocaust, liberation from the camps was the beginning of a life long struggle. They wanted to go home, but there was no home left in Europe. They came to America and wanted to tell people about their pasts, but were silenced for over three decades. 

After Auschwitz is a "Post-Holocaust" documentary that captures what it means to survive and try to live a normal life after unspeakable tragedy. Six extraordinary women who all survived Auschwitz take us on a journey that American audiences have never seen before. These women all moved to Los Angeles, married, raised children and became "Americans" but they never truly found a place to call home. What makes the story so much more fascinating is how these women saw, interpreted and interacted with the changing face of America in the second half of the 20th century. They serve as our guides on an unbelievable journey, sometimes celebratory, sometimes heart breaking but always inspiring. After Auschwitz gives us the story that we have always wanted to see and one that in many ways is as important as the stories of the camps themselves.  75 min.

 

 

 

 

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