Edition # 36 of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival unfolds July 21-Aug. 7 at venues around the Bay, and Michal Vinik’s lesbian teen movie “Blush” makes its SF premieres during the festival!
Edition # 36 of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival unfolds July 21-Aug. 7 at venues around the Bay: the Castro Theatre (July 21-31), Berkeley’s Roda Theatre (July 29-Aug. 4), Oakland’s Piedmont Theatre (Aug. 5-7), Palo Alto’s Cinearts (July 23-28), and San Rafael’s Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center (Aug. 5-7). The SFJFF programmers have traditionally sought to broaden our knowledge of Jewish history and culture, and provide timely updates from troubled parts of the globe. The film fest has also always been an excellent source of LGBT history. This year is no exception, which Michal Vinik’s passionate Israeli lesbian teen romance Blush proves in entertaining fashion.
Blush At times silly, profound and wise, this little fable ignites with a 17-year-old’s crush on a cute blonde classmate. Naama gets hooked on hard-partying, flirtatious Dana, who’s better at the tease than at the squeeze. Naama’s family is a trip unto itself, with a mostly silent, jug-eared baby brother and a hot-tempered dad forever seeking out an Israeli authority figure whom he calls “the commander” while his family tries to pretend they don’t know him. Skipping by in a rapid-fire 85 minutes, Blush shows what life is really like in places we know to be far too dangerous for tourists or even soldiers. The filmmakers make their dueling languages (Hebrew and Arabic, with English subtitles) seem as delicious a choice as the girls’ first stab at adult makeup. (Castro, 7/24; Piedmont, 8/6; Rafael, 8/7)