One of the joys of watching world cinema is that it takes you outside your standard frames of reference. In some cases this means stories with fewer guns, gore, and explosions. In other situations, it simply means that the influence of Jesus is never a given.
A gay film from Israel presents a hair-raising depiction of the obstacles faced by two gay men who quickly fall in love despite the fact that they are surrounded by the kind of tribal hatred as old as the feud between the Capulets and the Montagues.
Two recent low-budget productions demonstrated the trickiness of trying to wrestle a complicated story filled with complex characters into a manageable format that can hold its audience's attention while keeping to a reasonable time frame.
The 2013 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival included documentaries about two men with as much chutzpah as blood flowing through their veins. While not an international celebrity, each is a heroic figure in his own right.
So far this year, HBO has screened two films of social significance which deserve the public's attention. One will, of course, be an easier sell to audiences because of its high quotient of celebrity content. The other begs to tell a far more riveting story.
Coming up at this month's San Francisco Jewish Film Festival is a wonderful new documentary entitled American Jerusalem which details the history of the Jews who helped to build San Francisco (from the days of the California Gold Rush and up to the 1915 Pan-Pacific International Exposition).
Retirement often brings out the strangest passions in men. While some may join the Tea Party movement and use its activities as a vehicle for venting their frustrations, others take to volunteer work or seek out mentoring opportunities.
Jews will often invoke the phrase "Never Forget" as a way of stressing that memories of the past must not be stolen from us. Three films screened at the 2012 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival focus on moments that should not be forgotten.
As someone who enjoys wordplay, I have always been partial to the following moment at the end of Act I of Stephen Sondheim's 1979 musical thriller entitled Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
The "power of one" is often unavoidable. One is also the term used to designate a person's singularity. Popular slogans such as "One person, one vote" and "One for all and all for one" have become a part of our political landscape.