Views from Life
Story by Chris Graham
And a chance to spread understanding and a sense of community.
The organizers of the upcoming Staunton Jewish Film Festival hope the April 11-17 event can create a bridge between a local Jewish congregation and the Staunton and Central Shenandoah Valley community.
“Film seems to be an easy way where everybody would be generally inclined or willing to look at it and learn from it and perhaps talk about it and see that sense of sameness,” said Rabbi Joe Blair of the Temple House of Israel, which is sponsoring the film festival at Visulite Cinemas in Downtown Staunton beginning next weekend.
“The idea here was to try to fit in with a fairly broad but specific theme for the festival, which is Views from Life. And the underlying thought there was to show that life for Jews and life for everyone else has similarities. There are people, they have problems, they have things to deal with. And these ideas are things that people would want to share a little bit and talk about and have a little bit a sense of commonality,” Blair said.
The films to be featured in the festival include “The Rape of Europa,” “Praying with Lior,” “Making Trouble,” “Only Human,” “Live and Become,” “Wondrous Oblivion,” and “Walk on Water.”
The mix includes feature films and documentaries by design.
“We wanted something that would be attractive and appealing, that would be something that felt upbeat, positive, that would be something that could be used as outreach to other groups and other people in our community, and that would allow us to share that sense of, We’re all people, we’re all human beings, and we all have some of the same things going on, and how we react to them should be somewhat similar. It’s easier to understand your neighbors if you know what’s going on with them,” Blair said.
WHAT: Staunton Jewish Film Festival
WHEN: April 11-17
WHERE: Visulite Cinemas, Downtown Staunton
Chris Graham is the executive editor of The Augusta Free Press.