The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, the world’s largest and oldest, returns to the Roda Theatre Saturday for a week-long engagement. It ran last week at San Francisco’s Castro Theater and will move on to San Rafael after the Berkeley engagement.
The festival features more than 40 films in a variety of genres celebrating the spirit of independent Jewish cinema: from documentaries to short subjects, from weepy dramas to heart-warming tales of hope. As usual, the festival has an international bent, with films and filmmakers hailing from Israel, the United States and even the former Soviet Union.
The festival kicks off at noon Saturday with Belzec, a new documentary about a virtually forgotten Nazi concentration camp in which more than 60,000 Polish Jews lost their lives.
Also showing in the next week are three works by Amos Gitai, this year’s recipient of the festival’s Freedom of Expression Award. Free Zone, featuring Natalie Portman, screens at 6:30 p.m. July 31; House, one of Gitai’s early documentaries, screens at 5 p.m. Aug. 5; and News From Home/News From House, an as-yet-unreleased documentary, screens at 4:15 p.m. July 31.
JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL
Saturday July 29 through Saturday Aug. 5 at the Roda Theatre. $11 per screening. www.sjfjj.org. (925) 275-9490.