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January 6, 2009

CW's Kimball Theatre to host two film festivals during January and February

Colonial Williamsburg’s Kimball Theatre will host two film festivals in January and February. The Eighth Annual Jewish Film Festival on Merchants Square continues with “Jellyfish” and “The Secrets.”

  • Jellyfish, 7 and 8:30 p.m., Jan. 24-25. Poignant, often witty and cinematic, Jellyfish tells the story of three very different Tel Aviv women whose intersecting stories weave an unlikely portrait of modern Israeli life. Batya, a catering waitress, takes in a child apparently abandoned at the local beach. Batya is one of the servers at the wedding reception of Keren, a bride who breaks her leg escaping a locked toilet stall, ruining her chance at a dream Caribbean honeymoon. And attending the event with an employer is Joy, a non-Hebrew–speaking domestic worker who has guiltily left her son behind in her native Philippines. As this trio separately wends their ways through Israel’s most cosmopolitan city, they struggle with issues of communication, affection and destiny—but at times find uneasy refuge in its tranquil seas. Winner of the Golden Camera Award and the Screenwriting Award at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. English and Hebrew with subtitles. Not rated.
  • The Secrets, 6:30 and 8:45 p.m., Feb. 21-22. Naomi (Ania Bukstein), the brilliant and pious daughter of an ultra-orthodox rabbi, finds herself at a crossroads of life choices when her mother dies, and she is expected to immediately marry her father’s prodigy. Distressed yet determined, she begs her father to allow her one year to study at a women’s religious seminary in Safed, the birthplace of the Kabala, in order to prepare herself for the sacrifices she will make as a wife. Her father relents, and Naomi’s life begins to take an unexpected turn. Devout but lively, Naomi and her new friend Michelle (Michal Shtamler) befriend a beautiful, mysterious older woman, Anouk (Fanny Ardant). The woman is ill, lives nearby, may or may not be Jewish, and may have committed a crime of passion. Naomi devises a series of rituals that will somehow “purify” Anouk and purge her of her sins, but as these stretch the borders of Jewish law they must be kept secret. Eventually, this journeys into the forbidden and leads to a growing attraction between the two girls—and more crossroads to be faced. Not rated. English, French and Hebrew with subtitles.

    Movie admission is $7 for adults and $6 for seniors, students and children. For more information, contact the Kimball Theatre box office at (757) 565-8588 or visit

    The College of William and Mary French and Francophone Studies Program presents the Tournees Festival. A wine and cheese reception kicks off the event at 6 p.m. Feb. 1.

  • Ne le dis a Personne (Tell No One), 7 p.m., Feb. 1. Not rated. Alex, a pediatrician, has been devastated since his wife Margot, his childhood sweetheart, was savagely murdered eight years ago. One day he receives an anonymous e-mail. When he clicks on the inserted link, he sees the face of a woman standing in a crowd, being filmed live. Alex is in shock. Is she still alive? Why does she instruct him to tell no one? As soon as Alex raises the lid of this Pandora’s box, the police re-open the case. They are sure that Alex is guilty of his wife’s gruesome murder since he was actually with her when she was killed. He finds himself on the wrong end of the investigation and must lead his own to prove his innocence and find out what really happened to his wife. French with subtitles.
  • Persepolis, 7 p.m., Feb. 6. Rated: PG-13. Persepolis is the poignant story of a young girl coming of age in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It is through the eyes of precocious, nine-year-old Marjane that we see a people’s hopes dashed as fundamentalists take power. Clever and fearless, she outsmarts the “social guardians” and discovers punk, ABBA and Iron Maiden. When her uncle is executed and bombs fall around Tehran during the Iraq/Iran war, the daily fear that permeates life in Tehran is palpable. Her parents, worried for her safety, send her to school in Vienna. Vulnerable and alone in a strange land, Marjane decides to return to her country and her family while continuing to speak against the hypocrisy she witnesses. English/French/Persian/German with subtitles.
  • Le Fils de l’Epicier (The Grocer’s Son), 7 p.m., Feb. 14. It’s summer, and 30-year-old Antoine is forced to leave the city to return to his family in Provence. His father is sick, so Antoine must assume the lifestyle he thought he had shed, driving the family grocery cart from hamlet to hamlet, delivering supplies to the few remaining inhabitants. Accompanied by Claire, a friend from Paris on whom he has a secret crush, Antoine gradually warms up to his experience in the country and his encounters with the villagers, who initially seem stubborn and gruff, but ultimately prove to be funny and endearing. French with subtitles. Not rated.
  • Le Grand Voyage (Grand Voyage), 7 p.m., Feb. 20. A few weeks before his high school final exam, Reda, a young man who lives in the south of France, is chosen to drive his aging father to Mecca for the traditional pilgrimage. From the start, the journey promises to be difficult, as Reda and his father have nothing in common. They are separated by culture, language and religion. Reda is a modern young man who does not speak Arabic and cares little about his father’s deep sense of religion. As their journey progresses, their adventures and misadventures bring father and son closer, forcing mutual recognition and reconciliation. English/Bulgarian/French/Arabic/Italian/Turkish with subtitles. Not rated.
  • Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), 7 p.m., Feb. 27. As the editor of French magazine ELLE, Jean-Dominique Bauby was a key player in Parisian social and cultural circles before suffering a massive stroke at the age of 43. He developed what doctors called a locked-in syndrome. He lost all muscle control, save his left eyelid. Blinking one letter at a time, he composed a book describing his new life. As soon as it was published, the book became an international best-seller; Bauby died shortly after. This is the basis of Julian Schnabel’s enthralling film in which Bauby summons enormous courage, determination and his soaring imagination to escape from his trap. Tapping into the limitlessness of his memories, fantasies, wit and desires, he finds a way to race through experiences of wonder and grief, sex and love, fatherhood and childhood, faith and questioning, ecstasy and absurdity—and touches the very essence of what it is to be human. French with subtitles. Rated: PG-13.

    The screenings are free but tickets are required. For more information, visit

    The Kimball Theatre, located in downtown Williamsburg’s Merchants Square, is owned and operated by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the not-for-profit educational institution that operates the restored 18th-century capital of Virginia. The Kimball Theatre box office is open most days from 3:30-7:15 p.m.

    Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture – stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic trades people research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution guests interact with history through “Revolutionary City®” – a dramatic live street theater presentation.

    Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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