New York Jewish Film Festival moves online

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New York Jewish Film Festival moves online

Highlights include Nir Bergman’s Here We Are, and Veronica Selver’s Irmi, an inspiring documentary about the life of Irmi Selver, a Holocaust survivor and the filmmaker’s mother.

Veronica Selver’s Irmi, about her Holocaust surivivor mother
Veronica Selver’s Irmi, about her Holocaust surivivor mother

Jews around the world who are stuck at home under coronavirus lockdowns are being offered the chance to catch a movie at the New York Jewish Film Festival, albeit a virtual showing.

With the pandemic making many film festivals virtual this year, organisers say that one of the upshots is that it has made global fringe cinema more accessible than ever.

The New York Jewish film festival, which starts this week, will be streaming documentaries, shorts and features from the Lincoln Centre. Highlights include Nir Bergman’s Here We Are, described as a moving story about a father and his autistic son, as well as Veronica Selver’s Irmi, an inspiring documentary about the life of Irmi Selver, a Jewish Holocaust survivor and the filmmaker’s mother.

Born into a comfortable Jewish family in Germany in 1906, Irmi became a refugee when she was forced to flee Chemnitz, in eastern Germany, during the rise of Nazism. Her husband and two children were killed in the Holocaust.

Living in countries including the Netherlands, England and France, and working as a secretary and a therapist, she never really spoke about the loss she had suffered until, in her mid-eighties, she wrote a memoir. 

She died in New York in 2004, aged 97.

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