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Washington Jewish Film Festival
05.20.2017 - 05.23.2017 12.15 h



Washington Jewish Film Festival features TWO CZECH FILMS!

May 20-23, 2017


The Washington Jewish Film Festival (WJFF) will feature two Czech films, including Murder in Polna - a chilling drama exploring the Hilsner affair; and Zuzana: Music is Life - a documentary about a famous harpsichordist who survived the holocaust and communist persecution, from May 20-23, 2017. Ambassador Hynek Kmoníček will open the screening of Murder in Polna on May 23 at the Bethesda Row Cinema.

Both films will screen with English subtitles.

More About the Films: 
Film: Murder in Polna
Dirs. Viktor Polesný and Vaclav Jester
(180 min, Czech Republic, 2016, Czech with English subtitles)
Narrative | East Coast Premiere

This  riveting, timely and chilling historical drama explores the Hilsner affair, a criminal investigation that veered dangerously off course in 1899 Czechoslovakia. Local police, stumped by the brutal murder of a young girl, attach ritual motivations to her killing, which occurred around Passover. Despite significant holes in this theory, the finger is pointed at young Jewish local Leopold Hilsner, and anti-Jewish rioting commences. Luckily, Tomáš G. Masaryk—a tempered sociologist who would eventually become Czechoslovakia’s first President—intervenes.
Saturday, May 20, 12:15 pm - Edlavitch DCJCC
Tuesday, May 23, 6:30 pm - Bethesda Row Cinema (Opened by Ambassador Kmoníček)
Documentary: Zuzana: Music is Life
Dirs. Peter Getzels and Harriet Gordon Getzels
(83 min, Czech Republic/United States, 2017, English and Czech with English subtitles)
Documentary, DC Premiere
Despite three years in concentration camps and forty years of communist persecution, Zuzana Ruzickova became a world-famous harpsichordist and interpreter of Bach in Czechoslovakia. Zuzana’s story is remarkable not just because she fulfilled her childhood dream of a career in music; but also in how she navigated a lifetime of political and anti-Semitic persecution, never letting go of her belief that Bach’s music transcended human suffering. Dispatched by the communists to perform in hundreds of concerts and competitions, Zuzana Ruzickova became a tour-de-force abroad, and a source of foreign currency for the regime at home. She is the only person to have recorded Bach’s entire keyboard works, which were released in November 2016 by Warner Music. Zuzana Ruzickova’s story transcends the personal, in a deeply affecting look at the redemptive power of art during Europe’s turbulent 20th century. 
Sunday, May 21, 6:20 pm - Bethesda Row Cinema
Tuesday, May 23, 6:15 pm - E Street Cinema

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