Relationships are essential to the human condition. Even “people on the periphery of our lives present us with new ideas, new information, new opportunities and other new people,” according to The Atlantic. The 9th annual J Spring Festival, which runs from March 10-27, features 18 films streaming online and in theaters that are largely about relationships. These relationships are central to film programming that ranges from lighthearted romantic comedies such as “One More Story” to family discoveries of loss and rebirth in “Letters from Brno,” and the intricacies of navigating the mother-child bond. daughter in “Come find me”, with Tovah Feldshuh.
“One of the places where relationships are powerfully exemplified is in the movies, and at the same time watching a movie brings people together, creates conversations and community,” says Ilene Uhlmann, director of the JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival. . Other films include “Finding Manny,” a documentary about the inspiring bond between a child from Indersdorf and the seeker who traveled the world for him, narrated by Steven Baldwin. In the drama “Neighbours,” a young boy learns that the relationships he cherishes can be cut short by the wrath of politicians, and friendships in a retirement community are tested in the comedy “Greener Pastures” as residents face the challenges of aging and finances when a broke widower begins selling cannabis.
Relationships aren’t always positive, as seen in the drama-thriller “The Man From the Basement” about a Jewish family in Paris who sell their basement to an older man seemingly in need. Chicago premiere of satire ‘The Un-word’ focuses on a Jewish student who gets embroiled in a schoolyard fight and a naïve teacher and ‘Plan A’, based on the true story of Jewish vigilantes who plot revenge for the Holocaust by infiltrating German water companies to poison drinking water.
Hillary Wenk, co-director of the festival, said: “I have missed being in the community, visiting old friends and building new relationships. The film is a peaceful bond, allowing for deep discussions and mutual understanding. I can’t wait to be back in theaters with this hybrid festival for the first time in two years.”
The films will be screened theatrically on Sunday during the festival at the Illinois Holocaust Museum, Music Box Theatre, Landmark’s Renaissance Place Cinema and the Wilmette Theater. Specially priced passes are on sale for a limited time; individual tickets are $15 each. Many films include post-film discussions with filmmakers and subject matter experts and are included in the ticket price. Tickets for indoor performances are only available online.
To view the film lineup and participate in the festival experience, please visit jccfilmfest.org.
• JCC Chicago is a non-profit organization inspired by Jewish values, connecting traditions and generations to create a more vibrant and connected community. JCC Chicago is a partner of the Jewish United Fund serving our community.