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National Library documentary film festival returns between August 15-19

CM 10/08/2021 1

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Docu.Text, the documentary film festival in Jerusalem of the National Library of Israel, is back live this summer from August 15 to 19 with a slate of thought-provoking literary and cultural films, about both Israeli and international subjects as well as lectures and special events.

Those who love the National Library – and who have fond memories of doing research in its beautiful rooms – will not want to miss an architectural tour of its current building, which has been its home for six decades. It will soon be moving to a new home across from the Knesset. There will be a separate tour more focused on its collections and participants will be invited to deposit an object of their own at the library. 
The festival will also offer a tour of the Hannah Szenes Archival Collection, which recently moved to the National Library, as well as a screening of the documentary about the beloved poet and war hero murdered by the Nazis, Roberta Grossman’s Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Szenes. 
Rarely seen letters and writings from the archive of acclaimed author Amoz Oz, housed at the National Library, will be shown in a tour. These include intimate letters Oz wrote to Israeli intellectuals, writers and leaders, as well as notes scribbled on Oz’s drafts for various works, some of which have found their way into his well-known books. The festival features a screening of Yair Qedar’s documentary, The Fourth Window, which examines two key tragedies in his life, the suicide of his mother when he was 12 and the accusations of abuse by his daughter not long before his death and it will be followed by a Q&A with the director. 

The festival will kick off with a musical event, an open-air screening of the film Queen Shoshana, about legendary Yemenite Israeli singer Shoshana Damari, with a live musical soundtrack provided by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.
Following a screening of The Pianist from Ramallah, the story of Muhammad “Misha” Alsheikh, a talented teenage pianist living among Palestinian, Russian and Jewish cultures, Alsheikh will perform and answer questions. 
Docu.Text will also end on a musical note with an outdoor screening of an award-winning documentary about Israeli rock band HaHaverim Shel Natasha (Natasha’s Friends), Look at All the Lonely People, followed by a live performance by the band to celebrate their 30th anniversary.
The late David Perlov was one of Israel’s most distinguished documentary filmmakers, and his 1996 portrait of iconic Israeli poet, Natan Zach, Meetings with Natan Zach, will be shown and will be accompanied by a lecture by Prof. Giddon Ticotsky of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Gilad Inbar’s Shlomo Bar: A Musical Documentary is a portrait of one of Israel’s most important and original musical artists. For 40 years, together with his band, Natural Gathering, he has created music that combines Eastern and Western influences into a sound that is uniquely Israeli. 
Alan Berliner, known for his quirky and moving documentaries, has a new film, Letter to the Editor, a baby boomer’s lament on the looming end of the era of print newspapers.
In The Oratorio, Martin Scorsese is interviewed and explores how the performance by an Italian opera company in New York’s Little Italy in 1826 forever changed America’s cultural landscape and created an appreciation for opera in the US. 
Docu.Text is a collaboration with Docaviv, and is made possible thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation and other donors.
Most films have English subtitles or are in English, while the events are in Hebrew. The festival will be held in accordance with all current coronavirus regulations. For additional information and to purchase tickets: https://docutext.nli.org.il/english.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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