CIFF ’07

From Nov ’07 Spotlight: I saw many excellent films at last month’s 43rd Annual Chicago International Film Festival, including Joseph Cedar’s Beaufort (very likely to be Israel’s candidate for “Best Foreign Language Film” in next year’s Oscar race). For a complete overview, including more films by Jewish directors such as Suzanne Bier (Things We Lost in the Fire) and Helen Hood Sheer (Jump!), visit my website:


When new Israeli films open internationally, viewers bring lots of opinions into the theatre with them. This is inevitable, of course; we carry our mental baggage with us wherever we go. But all too often, when I read reviews of Israeli films (by critics, bloggers, and others), I find them at odds with what I think the filmmakers intended. So, in the case of Joseph Cedar’s new film BEAUFORT, I’d like to suggest a thought experiment: I’d like you to bring ‘Quint’ into the theatre with you.

You remember Quint, right? He’s the guy in JAWS who tells the WWII yarn about the USS Indianapolis: ‘…eleven hundred men went in the water; 316 men come out and the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945…’ I’m betting you can visualize this chilling scene perfectly in your mind’s eye. So bring Quint into the theatre with you, and then you may well see one of the best and most important films of 2007…”

Click HERE to read my complete review of Beaufort on FF2.

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