The Jerusalem Post

Rejoice in the ReFilm Festival at the Jerusalem Cinematheq­ue

- • By HANNAH BROWN For the full program, go to the Jerusalem Cinematheq­ue website at

The Israel Film Archive at the Jerusalem Cinematheq­ue is constantly at work restoring and digitizing movies, and for the second time is presenting ReFilm, a Restoratio­n Festival, which features restored classics from all over the world, from June 21-28.

After the year we have all had, the festival’s slogan – Rediscover, Revisit, Rejoice – could not be more appropriat­e.

The IFA has a vast collection of movies that were originally the personal collection of Cinematheq­ue founder Lia van Leer, which she once kept under a bed in her house. Eventually, she founded the Jerusalem and Haifa Cinematheq­ues and continued expanding the archive by using her charm to convince Hollywood moguls to donate one print to the archive every time one of their movies was shown in Israel. Her collection eventually became the Israel Film Archive.

Every year, the IFA restores a classic Israeli film. This year, it was Daniel Wachsmann’s Hamsin. The 1982 film has aged well and now seems ahead of its time. Set on a remote moshav during a long, hot summer, it tells the story of a brother (Shlomo Tarshish) and sister (Hemda Levi) who work their family’s land with the help of an Arab laborer (Yasein Shawaf). When the sister and the laborer fall in love, the movie becomes a kind of Romeo and Juliet, but the moody story is very Israeli and very atmospheri­c.

If you have never seen Casablanca on the big screen, or have not seen it for a long time, this is a wonderful opportunit­y. There is nothing like hearing the great lines like, “We’ll always have Paris,” and “Here’s looking at you, kid.” (No one actually says, “Play it again, Sam,” as people believe. The line is actually, “Play it, Sam.”) And now that the print has been restored, you can watch Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in gorgeous black and white, shimmering the way they were meant to.

There are classic family films, too, and this year the IFA has restored Home Alone by Chris Columbus, the great caper about parents who forget their son, Kevin (Macauley Culkin), at home when they go on vacation. Kevin, meanwhile, discovers he is smart enough to outwit burglars.

Other American films in the festival include William Wyler’s Dodsworth (1936), an adaptation of a Sinclair Lewis novel about a troubled couple, starring Walter Huston and Ruth Chatteron;

Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing

(1989), a look at racial tension in a Brooklyn neighborho­od; and Stanley Kubrick’s final film,

Eyes Wide Shut (1999), starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, about a doctor’s night-long odyssey of dark self-discovery. The screenplay was co-written by the great British-Jewish screenwrit­er Frederick Raphael

(Darling, Two for the Road).

Two British gems are also included. Austrian/Hungarian Jewish Emeric Pressburge­r moved to Britain to escape the

Nazis and ended up becoming the most British of directors, teaming up with Michael Powell to make The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp. Released at the height of World War II, it tells the story of the rise of an idealistic soldier through the ranks.

Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951) by Albert Lewin, stars Ava Gardner and James Mason in a romantic retelling of a legend about a sailor who can only be saved by a woman willing to die for him.

Among the European films in the festival are Ukrainian director Sergey Loznitsa’s State Funeral (2019), a documentar­y about Stalin’s funeral; German director Carl Froelich’s The Four Companions (1938), which stars a very young Ingrid Bergman in a drama about four friends torn between love and their desire to run a successful business; Beating Heart (1940), Henri Decoin’s French crime comedy-drama starring Danielle Darrieux; and

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) by Robert Wiene, a haunting silent horror classic.

From Brazil comes Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (1976) by Bruno Barreto, a sexy farce about a young widow haunted by the ghost of her late husband, which made its lead actress, Sonia Braga, into an internatio­nal star.

Tadashi Imai’s Bushido (1963) tells the story of a salary-man who looks back at his family’s gruesome history when he faces a crisis with his fiancée.

 ?? (Mark Tellily) ?? DANIEL WACHSMANN’S film ‘Hamsin.’
(Mark Tellily) DANIEL WACHSMANN’S film ‘Hamsin.’

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