Virtual Boca Raton Jewish Film Festival

Saturday, Mar 6, 2021

Boca Raton, FL 33427

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Code Name: Ayalon and A Father's Kaddish

In 1975 a demolition crew was at work in central Israel, clearing away the remains of an old kibbutz at the top of Kibbutz Hill. When several members of the demo team wrestled aside a large rusted clothes washer, they revealed a small entryway that seemed to lead below ground. Bulldozers shut down their engines, cranes froze in place as members of the team looked down into the hole. What they saw, what they discovered had been kept secret, hidden for three decades.

At the end of World War II British troops were in place in Palestine to police the region under what was known as The British Mandate. It was a messy, dangerous time. Jews were looking to flee war torn Europe for refuge in what was to be the Jewish homeland. Arab leaders were successful in fomenting opposition to the increasing Jewish presence. Arabs attacked and Jewish militias retaliated. The British were trying to keep a lid on the combustible situation between the Arabs and the Jews of Palestine, and were only serving to put gasoline on that fire. Forty-seven shiploads of Jews attempting to escape Europe, the smell of crematoriums lingering in their heads, were intercepted by the British. 65,000 of them were languishing in internment camps in Cypress. The presence of the British did little to appease the Arabs and, in fact, British policy succeeded in radicalizing segments of the Jewish population who would no longer cooperate. British troops were constantly seizing weapons and ammunition and shutting down efforts by the Jews to bring both into the country. Being caught with either was a hanging offense.

Nonetheless, Zionist leaders had long understood that they were going to need weapons to defend themselves against the Arabs and to fight for their independence. The Jews of Palestine had been very resourceful in smuggling weapons and establishing clandestine arms factories. The underground factories churned out relatively easy to build Sten submachine guns, but the Haganah had difficulty obtaining the 9 mm bullets needed for the weapons.

Cost: $10

An Impossible Love

At the end of the 1950s, Rachel (Virginie Efira), a young office clerk living in a provincial town, meets Philippe (Niels Schneider), a well-educated man from a wealthy family. They share an intense but short-lived romance, from which a daughter is born. Over the next 50 years, their lives will be shaped by the unconditional love between a mother and her daughter, overshadowed by the impossible love of a woman for a man that rejects her, and of a daughter for an absent and abusive father.

Cost: $12

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