Two must-see documentaries featured at this year’s Israel Film Festival in Montreal
I watched two documentaries recently; both screened at the Israel Film Festival in Montreal. Mrs. G., directed by Dalit Kimor, is a documentary about the life and work of Lea Gottlieb, a Hungarian survivor. The latter emigrated to Israel after the war and created a family-run business that became the internationally revered Gottex swimsuit empire.
I identified with this story since it echoed that of my parents. Hungarian Jews who immigrated to Montreal with two young children and no money to speak of managed to create a successful leather coat factory that sold high-quality products across Canada and the US for many years. It is the story of many immigrant Jewish families who brought their craft and business skills and rebuilt their lives after the devastation of the Shoah/Holocaust. However, although these immigrant families may have achieved financial success, the shoah’s scars could not be readily overcome. Mrs. G’s children complained that although she was an excellent designer, she had no motherly instinct.
The other documentary I watched is Aulcie by director Dani Menkin. The documentary tells the life of Aulcie Perry, a black man from New Jersey, who was drafted to play for Maccabi, the Israeli national basketball league, and became a much-beloved hero in Israel, taking the team to international championship status more than once.
Mrs. G. and Aulcie each had incredible challenges to overcome, which I will not share not to spoil the film.
What I loved about both films was the opportunity to peek into real people living in Israel, addressing fundamental challenges over many years.