JCC Chicago film series aims to open hearts, minds
The JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival is proud to present six films exploring the topics of anti-Semitism, racism, human rights, the Holocaust, and issues affecting disabled people to explore, educate, inform and ignite the important conversations that need to occur to bring about societal change.
"The challenges, tragedies and turmoil of the past year have made it clearer than ever that there is no better time than right now to focus on social injustice to inspire change," says Ilene Uhlmann, Director of Arts & Ideas at JCC Chicago.
The series will take place virtually from Jan. 17-26, and most films will be accompanied by prerecorded talkbacks with filmmakers and subject experts. Each film has been carefully chosen to provide a platform to inspire thought, conversation and action. And now through Jan. 17, there is a special series pass available to see all six films for the price of five.
The films to be presented include both narratives and documentaries. Code of the Freaks takes a hard look at how Hollywood has negatively impacted the ways in which those who are different are perceived by others as well as by themselves. John Lewis, Good Trouble takes us on an in-depth exploration of his extraordinary life and prolific career. The Crossing, is a beautifully-filmed narrative that explores the possibilities that can come from doing what is right, through the perspective of young, innocent Norwegian children who help Jewish refugees get to freedom. Hate Among Us provides perspectives on anti-Semitism throughout history to the present day. In The Homestretch we are given insight into the lives of three homeless teens on the streets of Chicago. Finally, the challenges facing those who identify as LGBTQ are explored in the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize Winner, The Miseducation of Cameron Post starring Chloe Grace Moretz.
"As a Jewish organization, it is incumbent upon us to bring an understanding of issues that concern the wider community and find a way to connect people," said Hillary Wenk, Co-Director of the JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival. "You don't have to be Jewish to watch the films or join the discussions. Many of the subjects of the films and in the films affect all of humanity, not just the Jewish community."
The J is especially excited to be bringing students in high schools and universities into the conversation. Students at participating schools in the area have been invited to view these films free. Adults can register and pay $15 for each film individually or purchase a series pass that will provide access to all 6 films for the price of 5. With each online rental, households will be given access to exclusive conversations with writers, directors and thought leaders following many of the films. To see the film lineup and join the film series experience, please visit jccfilmfest.org.