There are still two days left in the Jewish Film Festival: tomorrow and Tuesday. Info on the feature films is appended below. Admission is $7 general, $5 students.

Monday evening, January 26th, 7:30pm at the Bama Theatre
Directed by Ayelet Menahemi / Comedy-Drama / Hebrew-Mandarin (with English subtitles) / 90 min / Starring Mili Avital, BaoQi Chen, and Anat Waxman

Winner of the 2007 Special Grand Jury Prize at the Montréal World Film Festival; Nominated for 10 Israeli Film Academy Awards

Synopsis: Miri is a widowed Israeli flight attendant who has tightly regimented her life and deeply repressed her emotions. However, when Miri's housekeeper is suddenly deported from Tel Aviv to Bejing (unwillingly leaving behind her young son), Miri's controlled life turns to chaos as she scrambles to care for a scared little boy who only speaks Chinese. As Miri and her unexpected ward warm to each other, the film becomes a moving and funny portrait of two misplaced people who rediscover hope and joy.

Closing Night:
Tuesday evening January 27, 7:30pm at the Bama Theatre
Then She Found Me (Rated R)
Directed by Helen Hunt /Comedy-Romance /English /100 min / Starring Helen Hunt, Matthew Broderick, Bette Midler, Colin Firth, Ben Shenkman, Salman Rushdie

Winner of the 2008 Audience Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival

Synopsis: Academy Award-winning actress Helen Hunt co-wrote and made her directing debut with Then She Found Me, an amusing and touching feature film based on the bestselling novel by Elinor Lipman. April, a newlywed elementary school teacher eager to have a child, finds her world rocked by near-simultaneous exits and entrances. Just after her immature husband announces he wasn't ready for marriage after all and walks out, her flamboyant and famous biological mother (who gave her up for adoption almost 40 years earlier) bursts into her life.

"Helen Hunt makes an exceptionally deft and self-assured debut as a multi-hyphenate with Then She Found Me, a smart, subtle and seriously funny dramedy bound to find favor with sophisticated audiences….Hunt's labor of love." –Joe Leydon, Variety

"Hunt's performance is terrific and far more nuanced than her Oscar-winning turn in As Good as It Gets . As an actress, she helps make her director look very good indeed." -- Clark Collis, Entertainment Weekly

"… [Helen Hunt] turns in a touchingly real performance, the best of her big-screen career. Forget that As Good as It Gets won her an Oscar. She's eons better and more realistic in this one….By directing "Then She Found Me," Helen becomes its savior as well."-- Ruthe Stein, The San Francisco Chronicle

"… a smart little bittersweet comedy…. While there are plenty of laughs, Hunt doesn't play this for farce. Even Midler gives perhaps the most restrained, and arguably the most winning, performance of her screen career."-- Lou Lumenick , New York Post

"What makes this small movie work is the filmmakers' curiosity about the many-sidedness of need—the way genuine benevolence, say, can be cloaked in blunt intrusiveness, or the way insults can be a reckless demand for love.… a fine, tense, unpredictable comedy of mixed-up emotions and sudden illuminations." –David Denby, The New Yorker

"I felt privileged to be along for April's emergence from the deep waters of daughterhood and her realization that when love knocks, the heart opens wide." -- Carrie Rickey, The Philadelphia Inquirer

More info:

Jeremy Butler

Professor - TCF Dept. - U Alabama
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