Numbered in NYTimes
2011 Film Fund Grantee NUMBERED mentioned in the NYTimes roundup of the Jerusalem Film Festival .
The festival itself is a glorious event, centered at the Jerusalem Cinematheque, a modern four-story facility built into a hill near the Old City. This year’s opened with some 6,000 people pouring into Sultan’s Pool, a neighboring park, for an outdoor showing of Woody Allen’s “To Rome With Love,” where the multi-accented audience sang along to “Volare” in the opening credits. Overall, 45,000 tickets were distributed for 315 screenings over 10 days (the Israeli movies filled 11,000 seats at 55 showings), and the crowd was striking for its lack of religious Jews — rare in the capital — or Arabs of any kind.
The next morning I went to “Numbered,” a documentary about the dwindling population of Auschwitz survivors with the notorious brandings on their arms. Co-directed by Uriel Sinai, a prizewinning photojournalist, the 60-minute homage includes searing portraits of women and men displaying their numbers almost as badges of honor. One used his as the code for a family safe. Another always covered his with long sleeves. Three men with consecutive numbers were miraculously reunited. There are tender love stories within the larger epic of loss, and while the audience emerged with damp eyes, the overall message is somehow upbeat.
The NYTimes online piece is great, with clips from the movies and other good stuff. Go check it out.