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Film fest

National Library’s Docu.Text opens with music and archives

August 15-19 will see screenings of documentaries about David Grossman, Hannah Senesh, Shoshana Damari, Mikhael Gorbachev and others

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

From 'The Pianist from Ramallah,' a documentary about Muhammad 'Misha' Alsheikh, a teenage pianist living between Palestinian, Russian and Jewish cultures, screening at the National Library of Israel's Docu.Text film festival, August 15-19, 2021 (Courtesy PR)
From 'The Pianist from Ramallah,' a documentary about Muhammad 'Misha' Alsheikh, a teenage pianist living between Palestinian, Russian and Jewish cultures, screening at the National Library of Israel's Docu.Text film festival, August 15-19, 2021 (Courtesy PR)

The National Library of Israel’s annual Docu.Text documentary film festival, a collaboration with Tel Aviv’s DocAviv Festival, returns to its in-person version August 15-19, with five days of screenings, concerts and tours.

Most films have English subtitles or are in English, while events will be in Hebrew and held according to all relevant coronavirus regulations.

The festival opens with a live soundtrack from the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra as it accompanies an open-air screening of “Queen Shoshana,” a documentary about singer Shoshana Damari, considered the first lady of Israeli song.

Other highlights of the first day of the festival include a tour of treasures from the Hannah Senesh Archival Collection that recently found its home at the National Library. A documentary film about Senesh will be followed by a discussion with her nephew.

Other screenings include “Grossman,” a personal journey about one of Israel’s best-known authors whose archive is at the National Library; “Her Socialist Smile” about Helen Keller; “Gorbachev.Heaven” featuring unscripted discussions with Mikhael Gorbachev; and “Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation” about literary figures Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams.

After a screening of “The Pianist from Ramallah” about Muhammad “Misha” Alsheikh, a teenage pianist living between Palestinian, Russian and Jewish cultures, Alsheikh will perform and answer questions from the audience.

On the other end of the musical spectrum, an outdoor screening of the award-winning documentary about Israeli rock band “HaHaverim Shel Natasha” (“The Friends of Natasha”) will be followed by a live performance by the band to celebrate their 30th anniversary.

There will be an architectural tour of the current National Library building that has served as its home for six decades, ahead of the move into to its new home next year.

For times and tickets, go to the National Library Docu.Text site.

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