The Miami Jewish Film Festival is back in town, and with it comes a solid variety of movies to explore. But with so many films and so many places to see them, it’s tough to choose exactly which ones to catch. That’s why we’ve made a list of the ones we’re anticipating most. Though some of the films with bigger names are already sold out — Remember and A Tale of Love and Darkness, for instance — there are still dozens of others to experience. Here are the ones to get excited about:
Baba Joon is not only Israel’s official Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language Film, but it’s also the winner of seven awards from the Israeli Film Academy. Yuval Delshad’s work is the first Persian-language film shot in Israel, and it tells the story of a young man from a family of Iranian farmers who rebels against his father. This kind of praise for a narrative feature debut is rare, so it’s well worth getting pumped about.
Baba Joon will screen Sunday, January 17, and Monday, January 25, at O Cinema Miami Shores.
The Man in the Wall
Evgeny Ruman’s feature The Man in the Wall is a psychological drama set during one night in an apartment. Shir (Tamar Alkan) realizes her husband has disappeared, and the hours unfold suspensefully. The coolest thing about the film is its framing device: It's split into 12 sequences and uses long takes and extreme closeups to further immerse the audience in a slow descent into madness.
The Man in the Wall will show Monday, January 25, at Regal Cinemas South Beach and Wednesday, January 27, at Miami Beach Cinematheque.
It’s Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong
The lovingly crafted romance It’s Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong will satisfy any date-night plans. Emily Ting’s debut narrative feature is a Before Sunrise-esque journey through the city of Hong Kong, where two strangers meet and fall for each other, but not without controversy. The chemistry between the two leads, Jamie Chung and Bryan Greenberg, is palpable. Which isn't suprising, considering they’re married in real life. It’s simple, sweet, and perfect if you're in the mood for love.
It’s Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong shows Thursday, January 21, at Regal Cinemas South Beach and Tuesday, January 26, at Coral Gables Art Cinema.
Wedding Doll made headlines with nine Israeli Film Academy nominations — including Best Film, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Director — and awards for Best Actress (Moran Rosenblatt), Best Israeli Film, and Best First Film at the Jerusalem Film Festival. So it’s appropriate to be excited about Nitzan Gilady’s feature about a young woman with a mild mental disability who finds love at the factory where she works by day (and where she scrounges leftover materials to make wedding dresses by night). Best of all, Gilady will be in attendance to introduce the film and engage in a conversation afterward.
Wedding Doll will screen Wednesday, January 20, at O Cinema Miami Shores.
How to Win Enemies
The plot of How to Win Enemies sounds wildly ridiculous, and that’s exactly why Gabriel Lichtmann’s film is on this list. The movie tells the story of a young lawyer obsessed with crime novels who has a chance encounter with a beautiful woman and wakes up to learn that all of his financial savings are gone. He embarks on a caper to figure out exactly what happened. If it sounds like the kind of silly flick that would appeal to most moviegoers, that's because it absolutely is, and luckily, three MJFF screenings are available.
How to Win Enemies will show Thursday, January 21, and Wednesday, January 27, at Regal Cinemas South Beach, as well as Monday, January 25, at Coral Gables Art Cinema.
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If there’s one film worth waiting in the rush line, it’s Tikkun. The gorgeously shot black-and-white feature, whose title is a Hebrew word referring to humanity’s obligation to repair our broken world, won three awards at the Jerusalem Film Festival (Best Film, Best Actor, and Best Script) and follows a Hasidic student in Jerusalem who has a near-death experience that forces him to question his faith.
Tikkun will screen Tuesday, January 19, at Regal Cinemas South Beach and Tuesday, January 26, at Miami Beach Cinematheque.
Miami Jewish Film Festival
Thursday, January 14, through Thursday, January 28, at various venues in Miami. Visit miamijewishfilmfestival.net.