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November 10, 2021 2:31 pm
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Largest US Documentary Festival Features Six Films With Jewish, Israel Focus

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Townspeople of the predominantly Jewish village of Nasielsk, Poland in 1938 as seen in Bianca Stigter’s “Three Minutes – A Lengthening.” Photo: Courtesy of Family Affair Films, US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Six films that center on Israel or Jewish-related topics will be screened at America’s largest documentary festival, DOC NYC, beginning Wednesday.

Three Minutes: A Lengthening,” which made its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September, is a 69-minute documentary that focuses on three minutes of a color home video that is believed to be the only footage left of the predominately Jewish village of Nasielsk, Poland, before the Holocaust.

Also being screened is “Charm Circle,” in which Jewish director Nira Burstein revisits her childhood home in Queens, New York, as she “attempts to bridge the fractured relationships” between herself, her parents and her two sisters. The 79-minute documentary includes home videos from Burstein’s family.

DOC NYC will additionally feature the US premiere of the Hebrew and French-language documentary “The Forgotten Ones,” by French-Israeli director Michale Boganim. The film highlights the discrimination Jews from North African and Arab countries faced in Israel when they arrived in the Jewish state in the 1950s and ’60s.

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Making its world premiere at the festival, “Boycott,” by award-winning filmmaker Julia Bacha, examines the legislation adopted by over 30 states in the US that penalizes individuals and businesses that boycott Israel. Bacha, who does not support anti-boycott laws, looks at the cases of a publisher, attorney, and teacher who question the impact of the legislation on freedom of speech and their careers.

The festival will also showcase “The Devil’s Drivers” by director Mohammed Abugeth. Filmed over the course of eight years, the documentary follows two drivers who smuggle Palestinian workers by car from the West Bank to their job sites in Israel.

Ticket holders will also able to to see “A Tree of Life,” in which Emmy-winning director Trish Adlesic speaks with survivors of the 2018 deadly shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Adlesic explores how the tragedy changed the lives of the survivors, and examines “the hate-based crisis stemming from the political climate.” The documentary was co-produced by Michael Keaton and Mark Cuban, who are both from Pennsylvania.

The 12th annual DOC NYC will take place in-person, Nov. 10-18, at three theaters in Manhattan — the IFC Center, SVA Theatre and Cinépolis Chelsea — and also online. The festival is also an Academy Award-qualifying festival for short films, with its winning short earning consideration to be nominated in the Documentary Short Subject category.

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