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Flicks with chuzpah

The 24 films included in the 17th edition of the Jüdische Filmfestival Berlin & Potsdam offer a prismatic glimpse at Jewish life across the globe.

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The 24 films included in the 17th edition of the Jüdische Filmfestival Berlin & Potsdam offer a prismatic glimpse at Jewish life across the globe.

The gleefully British knockabout slapstick The Infidel (May 29, 20:00, Kino Arsenal) tells the edifying story of Mahmud, a Muslim Pakistani-born paterfamilias who accidentally discovers his biological Jewish origins, just as his son is about to marry into a famous Islamic fundamentalist’s family.

This is entertaining. Gloomier is the stylized black-and-white Czech film, Protektor (May 23, 18:00 in Kino Arsenal with English subs – New York singer-songwriter Mira Stroika performs in the foyer at 17:30), which follows the lives of a Jewish actress and her journalist husband, who ends up broadcasting Nazi propaganda in WWII-era Prague.

But the festival’s biggest draw is Stephen Fry’s documentary Wagner & Me (May 22, 19:00 at Hans Otto Theater, special screening and gala, entrance €20). It follows comedian Fry’s journey in the footsteps of the great composer and antisemite, exploring the link between Wagner and Nazism, as well as Fry’s true, enduring passion for his music. 

Jüdische Filmfestival Berlin & Potsdam, Kino Arsenal, Potsdamer Str. 2, Mitte, S+U-Bhf Potsdamer Platz, www.kino-arsenal.de | Filmmuseum Potsdam, Breite Str. 1A, Potsdam, S-Bhf Potsdam, www.filmmuseum-potsdam.de | Hans Otto Theater Potsdam, Schiffbauergasse 11, Potsdam