San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 39, Week Two

The festival’s second week brings drama on both sides of the camera, and inside the camera itself.

Beyond the Bolex. (Alyssa Bolsey – Director)

The second week of this year’s San Francisco Jewish Film Festival looks at recent histories, some happy and some less so. Asaf Galay’s Army of Lovers in the Holy Land catches up with the Beavis and Butthead-famous pop group as its super-queer frontman Jean-Pierre Barda moves from Sweden to Israel. Garret Price’s documentary Love, Antosha celebrates the entirely too-short life of Anton Yelchin, the actor who played Pavel Chekov in the Star Trek reboot and who died in a freak accident in 2016 at the age of 27. Among the friends and colleagues who reflect on his too-short life are Joe Dante, Kristen Stewart, and Chris Pine.

For cinematic gearheads, the true gem is Alyssa Bolsey’s Beyond the Bolex, in which she investigates the life of her grandfather Jacques, inventor of what some people have called the greatest camera ever. Bolsey’s interviewee Barbara Hammer, among others, would very much agree. And though it opens locally in August, don’t miss this opportunity for an early look at Sameh Zoabi’s very funny narrative Tel Aviv on Fire, about a none-too-talented production assistant on an Israeli soap opera about the Six-Day War who finds himself failing upward into the position of scriptwriter. It also functions as a parable about fan entitlement, itself a timelier issue than ever.

Now Playing at the Castro Theatre.

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