Two films screening this year at the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival involve world-renowned singers. “Neil Diamond: Solitary Man” chronicles the career of the “Jewish Elvis,” a singer who has sold more than 125 million records worldwide and has to his credit such iconic hits as “Sweet Caroline,” “America,” “Song Sung Blue” and “Brooklyn Roads,” among numerous others.
“People that don’t know me have an opinion of me that comes from the media. And that’s so far remote from what I am that I can’t even try to straighten it out.” These words from the controversial film director and provocateur Roman Polanski about his public image are the basis of a new documentary, “Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir.”
The biblical book of Exodus begins the ominous story of the Israelites’ descent into slavery with the following words: “A new generation arose” in Egypt that did not know Joseph.
In the opening scene of the documentary “Torn,” an official asks an elderly man for his name, and he replies, “Romuald-Jakub Weksler-Waszkinel.”
At the heart of Los Angeles' Jewish community lies a paradox. As the community grows and spreads into different areas in the Southland, can it still be a community? It is this very question that Hilary Helstein, executive director of the latest incarnation of the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival, has had to confront.