100 Faces (dir Benjamin Till)
BAFTA-nominated composer and director Benjamin Till explores what it means to be Jewish in this quirky and heartwarming musical film. Till set himself the task of finding 100 British Jewish people, one born in every year between 1918 and 2017. The first shot belongs to a one-year-old in Leeds, and from then on in, with each new shot, the person featured is a year older than the last. By the end of the film, an entire lifetime of faces will have passed in front of viewers’ eyes. 100 Faces is a true celebration of the diversity of Jewish people filmed in Manchester, Northampton and London. Holocaust survivors, Kindertransportees and those who fought at Cable Street rub shoulders with chazans, rabbis and atheists. Some speak, some sing. All are accompanied by a specially-written soundtrack recorded by the Israel Camerata orchestra. This is a once-in-a-lifetime film, which Till describes as “a musical postcard from British Jewish people to the rest of the world”.
Starboy (dir Joëlle Bentolila)
Yehud, 19, a young married Hassidic man raised in a sheltered community, has all of his life been on the path traditionally followed by all Hassidic Jews. But when he immerses himself in the deep dark secrets of the Kabbalah and the study of quantum mechanics, his pious young wife doesn’t understand why there are suddenly so many unorthodox books in their small cramped Stamford Hill flat. And why he is no longer content with raising their baby son and just happy with the regular study of the Torah. What is he trying to tell her? And what will happen to him – and to them? As Yehud obsessively searches for answers to his many burning mystical questions, increasingly doubting his own identity, and the nature of being, their conflict grows – with irreparable and shocking consequences.