New film series to begin on July 22: “Can We All Get Along? Culture Clash in Great Films”

Following on the success of “What Would You Do? Ethical Dilemmas in Great Films,” Best Video and Temple Beth Sholom have teamed up again to present “Can We All Get Along?* Culture Clash in Great Films.” Unlike the first series, which unfolded in monthly screenings, “Can We All Get Along?” will present films every Monday evening from July 22 through August 26. Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic will be the presenter of the first film, ARRANGED, on Monday, July 22. Rabbi Scolnic will present and lead the discussions for three of the six films. Best Video staffers Rob Harmon and Michael Wheatley will split the presenting honors for the other three movies.

Reservations are strongly suggested. Many of the screenings in the original series were sold out. The cost is $25 for the entire series or $5 per film. All the events begin at 7 PM.

This is the schedule:

• July 22: ARRANGED (2007, USA) Presenter: Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic

This independent film made in 2007, centers on the relationship between an Orthodox Jewish woman and a Muslim woman. Both are first time teachers at a public school in Brooklyn. They form an unlikely friendship that changes their lives. The film is in English.

• July 29: INTRUDER IN THE DUST (1949, USA) Presenter: Rob Harmon

In a small Mississippi town a proud black landowner is accused of shooting a white man in the back and brought to the town jail, where the lynch mob begins to gather.  Unrepentant about his actions Lucas Beauchamp’s (Juano Hernandez) only chance of survival may lie in the hands of two teenage boys and an elderly woman – seemingly the only people in town capable of seeing the situation clearly!  Ably adapted from the William Faulkner novel by Ben Maddow (The Asphalt Jungle, Men in War) and directed in a socially-conscious manner by Hollywood stalwart Clarence Brown (Flesh and the Devil, The Human Comedy, National Velvet, The Yearling).  The film also stars David Brian, Claude Jarman Jr., Elizabeth Patterson, Porter Hall, and Will Geer.

• August 5: ONLY HUMAN (2004, Spain) Presenter: Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic

In this madcap farce set in Madrid, a Jewish girl, Leni, bring home her boyfriend to meet her family. There is just one problem: She hasn’t told them Rafi is a Palestinian. In Spanish with English subtitles, the movie mines comedic gold from the culture clashes provoked by Leni’s interfaith relationship, a disappearing body and an amorous, belly-dancing sister.

• August 12: CRASH (2004, USA) Presenter: Michael Wheatley

Diving headlong into the diverse melting pot of post-9/11 LA, this compelling urban drama—and Oscar winner—tracks the volatile intersections of a multi-ethnic cast, examining fear and bigotry from multiple perspectives as characters careen in and out of one another’s lives. No one is safe in the battle zones of racial strife. And no one is immune to the simmering rage that sparks violence – and changes lives.

• August 19: THE WAR WITHIN (2005, USA) Presenter: Rob Harmon

While traveling anyone can feel like a fish-out-of-water and that goes especially so for Hassan (Ayad Akhtar), a recently-radicalized Muslim from Pakistan, who arrives in America—the Land of Consumption—and unexpectedly appears on the doorstep of his childhood friend, Sayeed (Firdous Bamji), now living in New Jersey.  Unbeknownst to Sayeed and his family, Hassan harbors a terrifying secret: he is there, not for a job interview but as a suicide bomber.  His target: Grand Central Terminal!  But, as his terrorist compatriots go down, one-by-one, will this stranger-in-a-strange-land still be able to carry out his unthinkable mission?  This provocative indie hit was directed by Joseph Castelo and also starred Nandana Sen and Sarita Choudhury.

• August 26: THE OTHER SON (2012, France) Presenter: Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic

A fascinating movie about the meaning of identity, The Other Son is a French drama about two young men—one a Palestinian and the other Israeli—who were accidentally switched at birth. When this truth is revealed, how do the families cope with the news?

* Quote from Rodney King during the 1992 Los Angeles riots