Spertus Institute "Sunday Cinema" Series Preview-Film series centers upon "Jewish Lives"

Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, 610 S. Michigan, Chicago, will launch its Second Annual “Sunday Cinema” Series January 29th at 2 PM with the screening of “Finding Babel”, a Chicago premiere, directed by David Novack. Andrei Malaev-Babel will both introduce the film and lead a discussion afterwards.

The theme of this year’s series is “Jewish Lives”, and all of the films profile “exceptional individuals whose stories reveal the depth and diversity of the Jewish world”.


From "Finding Babel"


“Finding Babel”, 2015, a biography/animated documentary, one hour and 28 minutes long, is the dramatic story of theater professor Andrei Malaev-Babel’s grandfather, a subversive writer he never met. Isaac Babel was executed in 1940 by Stalin’s regime for challenging the ideology of The Soviet Union. Babel, born in 1894, was a Russian-Jewish journalist, playwright and author of short stories. His stories are acknowledged to be masterpieces of the craft, particularly “Red Cavalry” and “Tales of Odessa”.

With this film, Malaev-Babel conducts a journey of love and investigation, travelling across France, Russia and Ukraine in order to piece together this important life. Director David Novack, commenting on the relevance of “Finding Babel”, has stated “In an age where conflict has once again risen in the battle-torn lands of Ukraine, where journalists are executed in a Paris office or beheaded in the Syrian desert, where artists ad writers face threats, arrest, or even torture in countless authoritarian nations, Babel’s pen draws a line of continuity through history.”

From "Morgenthau"

 The movie is a strong, powerful and insightful glimpse into a world that has only recently begun to change toward openness and tolerance of art and diversity of political opinion.  Starring Live Schreiber as Isaac Babel and featuring Yevgeny Yevtushenko, filled with both a panorama of locations imbued with a sense of history coupled with  moving and vibrant interviews, this film is a confrontational  piece of work.  It combines Babel’s writings with surreal animation and lyrical music to create a fantastic set of images of both transcendent art and turbulent historical events.

From "Big Sonia"


The remaining films in the series will be:


-“Big Sonia”, Sunday February 5 at 2PM


-“Morgenthau”, Sunday February 12 at 2PM


- “Hannah Cohen’s Holy Communion” along with “Torah Treasures and Curious Trash”, Sunday February 19 at 2PM

From "Hannah Cohen's Holy Communion"


All films will be shown in the Feinberg Theater at the Institute, 610 S. Michigan, Chicago.


The Spertus Institute, partnering with the Jewish United Fund, offers dynamic learning opportunities rooted in Jewish wisdom and culture, open to all. It hosts graduate programs and puts on workshops which train future leaders, engaging people in an exploration of Jewish life. The Institute also hosts public programs featuring films, speakers, seminars and concerts at the Michigan Avenue facility, in the suburbs and online.

From "Torah Treasures"


For more information, visit www.spertus.edu


All photos courtesy of The Spertus Institute for Learning and Leadership







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