Ninth Annual Diaspora Film Festival
Join us for the 9th Annual Diaspora Film Festival, streaming across the U.S. and globally in two parts.
Event Date:November 15 - 21 and November 22 - December 6, 2020
Russian-American Cultural Center presents:
9th Annual Diaspora Film Festival
Online event | Tickets via Eventbright
Join us for the 9th Annual Diaspora Film Festival, streaming across the U.S. and globally in two parts: November 15 - 21 and November 22 - December 6, 2020.
Meeting the challenges of 2020, transforming our 9th annual festival into a virtual experience, we offer a unique program of films, some of which can only be seen at our festival. Greater presence and accessibility will provide global participation for our diverse audiences in the USA and internationally, associated with being at home during the epic scale pandemic and having a strong online presence.
We are thrilled to present the RACC Film Festival in a new format as it is a major international forum that represents and celebrates the artistic achievements of expatriate filmmakers from the former Soviet Union in the United States and around the world, expressing the unique experience of the historical upheaval of our people, including revolutions, wars and immigration as a search for a new cultural identity.
Over the years, we have screened films from the outstanding documentary series The Unknown Holocaust by Boris Maftsir, whose mission to document evidences of Holocaust was more complex than those of the most significant explorations of Claude Lanzmann and the Shoah Spielberg Foundation, as he brought up the topic of the Holocaust in the former Soviet Union, which was hushed up and banned in for decades. This time we are showing his latest documentary, The Mystery of the Black Book, which reflects on why Stalin chose to hide the irrefutable and documented evidence of the Holocaust in the Soviet Union.
End Game continues the theme of silencing the Holocaust in the festival program, describing an episode of brutal anti-Jewish repression in the Stalinist Soviet Union after World War II, which went down in history as The Night of the Shot Poets and the Doctors’ Plot. The latter, depicted in this film, is one of the rare attempts to present this topic on screen.
A Special part of the festival dedicated to work of New York based director Semyon Pinkhasov who is a Guest of Honor of the 9th Diaspora Film Festival. Semyon Pinkhasov associated with RACC from the very beginning of his filmmaking career. In 2007, RAСC launched the first public presentation of his first documentary, and has since continued to show his new documentaries on important and controversial artists and events. Semyon Pinkhasov’s documentaries I’m not Gordano Bruno, Judge Not, Music Made on Thursday, united in the RACC series of films and discussions Art During the Dictatorship, widely presented in educational and public organizations, including Columbia University, Hunter College and others.
November 15 – November 21
THE MYSTERY OF THE BLACK BOOK (New York Premiere)
A Film by Boris Maftsir
Israel 2019 | 70 min | Documentary | English, Russian, Hebrew with English subtitles.
Famous Soviet Writer Ilya Ehrenburg initiated and gathered comprehensive information about the Holocaust in the Soviet Union. It was named ''The Black Book''. In October 1947, the book was to be published in Moscow - a collection of testimonies and articles about the murder of 2.7 Million Jews under Nazi occupation in the Soviet Union. The book was shelved by the authorities, as if the Holocaust of Soviet Jews had never occurred at all. Why did Stalin decide to hide the solid and documented evidence of the Holocaust in the Soviet Union? Did Soviet Jewry’s enthusiasm on the establishment of the State of Israel cause collective punishment against them by the government? Since the revolution, Soviet Jews had been considered loyal partners in the building and administration of the Soviet Union. Why and how did they become suspects of dual loyalty, potential traitors, and second class citizens?
END GAME (New York Premier)
Director: Ariel Cohen
Israel/Russia 2018 | 85 min | Feature Drama | Russian, Hebrew with English subtitles
End Game is based on real events that took place in the Soviet Union about 60 years ago, called the "Doctors' Plot".
Moscow. 1953. Jewish doctors are arrested on charges of conspiring to bring down the regime. Masha, a Jewish doctor who secretly manages a Jewish underground in her home, is also arrested. During the violent arrest, Masha's daughter, a brilliant chess player named Nehama, is wounded and loses her memory. Olga, the KGB investigator, takes the opportunity of the loss of memory and enlists Nehama to the KGB in order to make her confront her mother. Will Nechama's memory will return a moment before she incriminates her mother and execute her?
November 22 – December 6
Special Event honoring Semyon Pinkhasov, New York documentary filmmaker
This year we celebrate our collaboration with Semyon Pinkhasov, which began from the very beginning of his cinematic career. Since 2007, RACC film programs and festivals have proudly presented his films, and we are pleased to offer our viewers his latest documentary JUHURO - the story of a very ancient, associated with some legendary names and little-known community in the Caucasus Mountains, which he created in collaboration with New York members of this community, called the Mountain Jews.
YOU BE THE JUDGE
Documentary by Semyon Pinkhasov
USA 2017 | 48 min | Documentary| English
On Britain's Channel Islands, the arrival of Nazi occupation tests established notions of leadership and patriotism. Located between England and France, the Channel Islands are part of Great Britain, and the only British territory Nazi Germany occupied in 1940. Most of the Jewish people of the islands were evacuated prior to invasion, but some remained. Germans asked the local authorities to identify Jews and to provide them with names for deportation. Were the British authorities complicit in assisting German demands? You be the judge.
JUHURO (MOUNTAIN JEWS) (World Premiere)
Documentary by Semyon Pinkhasov
Producer Robert Azaryev
USA 2020 | 52 min | Documentary| English
Juhuro is an ethnographic film telling the story of rather small Jewish community known to some as "Mountain Jews."
Juhuro people belong to a Jewish people that were taking to the Babylonian exile in about 6 century B.C. When freed to go back to the Holly land, they stayed in what later became Iran and Iraq, but later moved to the North and around the Caspian Sea to the Caucasus.
Mountain Jews have developed their own culture, traditions, art that was different from European Jewry, but religiously were similar to the Ashkenazi Jews.
2600 years after the Babylonian exile they began to leave the Caucasus Mountains. Most of them came to Israel, some to USA, Canada, to other countries, and to Moscow.
But this emigration created dilemma of preserving their language, culture, traditions. How will they react to these challenges is main topic of this documentary.
Tickets: Please register on Eventbrite, and after that you will get passwords to watch films in time of your convenience.
Full festival pass gives the holder access to the entire festival.
This project is made possible with funds from the NYSCA Electronic Media/Film in Partnership with Wave Farm: Media Arts Assistance Fund, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Cojeco, and Investors Foundation.