Please Note: You must be 21 years of age or older to attend the Opening Night Bash at the Swedish American Hall following the Opening Night screening of Hava Nagila (the movie) on 7/19.
Directed by Roberta Grossman
Edited by Christian Callister. Cinematography by Dyanna Taylor and Michael Chin.
USA, 2011. In English. 73mins.
What do we really know about a song that started as a prayer and just might be considered one of the world’s best-known pieces of music? Played at bar mitzvahs and Jewish weddings around the world, it can also be heard late at night in the bars of Reykjavik and on the streets of Managua. “Hava Nagila” is an earworm (a song you can’t get out of your head) the world over, and what a response it inspires! For some, “Hava Nagila” is all about joy, and, of course, there are those who love to hate the song. Director Roberta Grossman, who brought us Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh (SFJFF 2008), captures it all.
With humor and wit, Hava Nagila (The Movie) is a foot-tapping celebration of 100 years of Jewish culture and spirituality. It peels back the rich history, mystery and meaning of the song which is “kitschy, but oh so profound.” Together with a brilliant cast of characters that includes Connie Francis, Harry Belafonte, Leonard Nimoy and even Glenn Campbell, we travel with “Hava” around the world. First, to Ukraine, where the “Hava Nagila” melody—originally a Hasidic wordless prayer— was sung, and from there to Jerusalem, where the song found its Hebrew lyrics. We learn to dance the hora and head back to the States where “Hava Nagila” became all the rage in suburban America.
Campy Hollywood movie clips where “Hava” is the star of the show are at turns eye-opening, nostalgic, hysterically funny and thought-provoking. Our Opening Night journey will be a celebration with an edge, offering learning and laughter for all.Director Roberta Grossman in person at all screenings.
Opening Night Bash
Thursday, July 19th, 9:00pm.
Swedish American Hall
2174 Market Street, San Francisco (between Church and Sanchez).
The launch of the Film Festival always calls for a special celebration, and this year is no exception. Join us at the Opening Night Bash for a fantastic array of savory and sweet treats and hosted bars by some of the Bay Area's best purveyors of food and drink. Schmooze with filmmakers and special guests and dance to San Francisco's own La Peche Quintet. Don't forget to bring your sweet tooth downstairs to The Backroom with drinks, desserts, photo booth by Snap Fiesta, espresso cart by Espresso Subito and did we say desserts? It's all happening at the Swedish American Hall, located upstairs from the Cafe du Nord.
Featuring: Fork & Spoon Catering, La Bonne Cuisine, Melons Catering, Savoy Events, Wise Sons, Hagafen Cellars of Napa Valley, Yelp, Espresso Subito and IZZE Beverage Co.
The Backroom at the Bash is ADA accessible.
Live music will be provided by Burnt.
Opening Night is sponsored by a generous grant from Wells Fargo. Additional support for the Opening Night Film Bash is generously provided by Bunny and Steven Fayne, Amy and Mort Friedkin, Nancy and Stephen Grand, Barbara and Richard Rosenberg, Lydia and Doug Shorenstein, Roselyne C. Swig, Carol and Norman Traeger.