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Authors, poets, musical families headline National Library film fest

This year’s Docu.Text offers digital option for international and local viewers, with screenings and discussions online

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

This year’s “Docu.Text” Film Festival, the National Library of Israel’s annual documentary film event, is going global with two parallel digital festivals, one for international audiences and the other for the local, Israeli audience.

Held November 15-25, the online event produced with the DocAviv Festival will include film screenings of some of the best Israeli documentaries made in recent years.

While the screenings are through purchase only, the discussions with filmmakers are free and open to anyone.

Viewers will only have access to films from the Israeli festival or the international version based on their user IP address. All films screened in the Israeli festival will have Hebrew subtitles, and there are English subtitles for the international versions.

The films being screened include several looks at the lives of talented folks.

“Black Honey, The Life and Poetry of Avraham Sutskever” deals with the legendary Yiddish poet and will be followed by a glimpse of archival treasures held at the National Library of Israel and the National Library of Lithuania.

There’s also “The Wonderful Kingdom of Papa Alaev,” a colorful look at the internal life of one of Tajikistan’s most famous musical families, followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker; and “Picture of His Life,” a retrospective with renowned Israeli nature photographer Amos Nachoum, followed by a Q&A with Nachoum.

On the subject of personal trials and journeys are “The Jerusalem Dream,”
a personal story of Ethiopian immigration to Israel and “You Only Die Twice,” a suspenseful thriller of stolen identity and a charged meeting between descendants of Jews and Nazis, followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker.

There are also films related to cultural and political protests, including “Meet the Censors,” about censorship from Iran to China and “Four Mothers,” about the struggle of four women to get Israel to withdraw from its occupation of Southern Lebanon in the 1990s.

This is still a National Library event, and the Israeli version will include films about all kinds of wordsmiths, including a host of female writers.

Try “Margaret Atwood: A Word after a Word after a Word is Power;” “Ferrante Fever,” about the Italian sensation; and “Rain in Her Eyes,” about legendary Israeli children’s author Dvora Omer, followed by a look at items from her archive and a conversation with the filmmaker — her son.

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