For the third year in a row, Santa Barbarans have the chance to view myriad films that reveal and revel in the essence of Jewish culture when the Jewish Film Festival takes over at the New Vic Thursday-Monday, March 15-19. Presented by the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara, the festival, according to its website, aims “specifically to celebrate the diversity of Jewish history, culture, and identity while hoping that the films and their stories will resonate beyond these settings and speak to universal experiences and issues that confront our common humanity.”
This year’s roster includes shorts, features, and documentaries, such as Stitchers: Tapestry of Spirit, which tells of a woman who decides to create the Torah in its entirety in needlepoint; Past Life, a story “overflowing with grudges, betrayals and cascading revelations,” according to L.A. Times film critic Kenneth Turan, about two daughters who set out to discover their parents’ role in the Holocaust; and Children of Peace, a documentary spanning a decade that follows two Israeli kids whose lives were torn asunder when Israel withdrew from Gaza.
The festival slate also includes The Gravedigger’s Daughter, Wendy’s Shabbat, My Cousin, Rabbi’s Most Unlikely Granddaughter, Now or Later, Bloom of Yesterday, Rabbi Wolff: A Gentleman Before God, Maktub, And Then She Arrived, Shalom Bollywood, The Invisibles, Zuzana: Music Is Life, An Israeli Love Story, Last Band in Lebanon, The Wonderful Kingdom of Papa Alaev, and Muhi.
The Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival runs Thursday-Monday, March 15-19, at the New Vic (33 W. Victoria St.). Call (805) 957-1115 or see sbjewishfilmfestival.org.