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MCA/WCA Documentary Film Series

MCA/WCA Documentary Film Series brings you a curated (&/or juried) selection of award winning movies, free of charge. Each month from November through April, MCA and WCA members have the opportunity to enjoy an acclaimed limited distribution film, displayed on the big dual screens at Temple Shalom

Click on a film title for additional information or to register. 

    • November 02, 2021
    • 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    • Temple Shalom

    Mendelsson, the Nazis, and Me

    Trailer:  Mendelssohn, the Nazis and Me

    Felix Mendelssohn was a child prodigy pianist and composer who was famous from a young age. Born into an illustrious Berlin Jewish family (his grandfather was the theologian Moses Mendelssohn who began the assimilation of Jews into German society), Felix was baptised Lutheran, along with his siblings, at the age of seven, in part because at that time Jews in Germany did not have full civil rights. For the rest of his short life (he died at age 38), Mendelssohn strove to unite the two religions in his music, continuing what his grandfather had begun. He became one of Germany’s most beloved composers, and millions of brides have walked down the aisle to his Wedding March. One hundred years later the Nazis came to power, banned Mendelssohn’s music in Germany and re-classified his (mainly Lutheran) descendants as Jews, threatening their lives. One of these descendants, the filmmaker Sheila Hayman, decided to tell her family’s story on screen. Her wide-ranging and fascinating film is about the madness of labels and the unifying power of music.



    • December 07, 2021
    • 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    • Temple Shalom

    Bess Myerson: the One and Only

    Jewish Miss America

    Trailer: The One & Only Jewish Miss America

    In September 1945, Bess Myerson, Miss New York City, made history at the most famous beauty pageant in the world. In spite of anonymous phone calls to judges, threats from sponsors, and growing anti-Semitism, the daughter of struggling immigrants from Russia became the first Jewish Miss America. The judges could not change the point count: the beauty queen from the Bronx won the swimsuit competition, tied for first place in talent, and was top-ranked in interviews and evening wear.

    But was the country ready for a Jewish Miss America?

    “The One and Only Jewish Miss America” is the surprising story of Bess, her parents and sisters, and the Sholom Aleichem housing project that shaped so many Jewish families starting out in the United States.

    This 51-minute documentary follows Bess from her improbable entrance in her local Miss New York City pageant through her heartbreak after winning when sponsors withdrew their support and tour stops closed their doors on Jews. Then discover how Bess partnered with the national Anti-Defamation League on an educational speaking tour promoting tolerance at high schools and other groups. The tour launched Bess Myerson’s lifelong mission to promote social justice and tear down the walls of discrimination and bigotry. Directed by award-winning documentarian David Arond, the “The One and Only Jewish Miss America” features historic footage from Bess Myerson’s life and recent interviews with Barra Grant, Bess Myerson’s only daughter; Abraham Foxman, former ADL executive director; and Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University - San Bernardino. Released in 2020, the documentary marks the 75th anniversary of the triumphant coronation of the one and only Jewish Miss America.


    • January 04, 2022
    • 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    • Temple Shalom

    A Crime on the Bayou

    Trailer:  A Crime On The Bayou

    A Crime on the Bayou is the story of Gary Duncan, a Black teenager from Plaquemines Parish, a swampy strip of land south of New Orleans. In 1966, Duncan tries to break up an argument between white and Black teenagers outside a newly integrated school. He gently lays his hand on a white boy's arm. The boy recoils like a snake. That night, police burst into Duncan's trailer and arrest him for assault on a minor. A young Jewish attorney, Richard Sobol, leaves his prestigious D.C. firm to volunteer in New Orleans. With his help, Duncan bravely stands up to a racist legal system powered by a white supremacist boss to challenge his unfair arrest. Their fight goes all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and their lifelong friendship is forged.

    • February 01, 2022
    • 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    • Temple Shalom

    Determined: The Story of Holocaust Survivor Avraham Perlmutter

    Trailer:  Determined: The Story of Holocaust Survivor Avraham Perlmutter

    In Determined: The Story of Holocaust Survivor Avraham Perlmutter, a documentary film based on the book of the same name, Keren Perlmutter, Avraham Perlmutter’s daughter, tells his harrowing story of hiding, capture, escape, and pursuing a Princeton education and life in the United States.

    Avraham is ten years old when his life changes forever. After Nazis arrive in his hometown of Vienna, Austria, his parents send him to the Netherlands. But the invading German army soon follows.

    This inspirational award-winning documentary follows Avraham as he outwits the Nazis and overcomes every obstacle standing in his way. But more than just a remarkable story of survival, his tale is a testament to human kindness, even in the darkest of hours, and to the achievements made possible through relentless perseverance.


    • March 01, 2022
    • 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    • Temple Shalom

    The Windermere Children

    Trailer:  The Windemere Children

    The harrowing and ultimately life-affirming story of Holocaust children who were relocated and rehabilitated in the UK after World War II. It began with uncertainty and fear in the new land, however it eventually led to the triumph of hope and goodwill and life-long friendship and happiness that they all cherish.


    • April 05, 2022
    • 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    • Temple Shalom

    Plan A

    Trailer:  Plan A

    Germany 1945, Max, a Jewish Holocaust survivor, meets a radical group of Jewish resistance fighters, who, like him, lost all hope for their future after they were robbed of their existence and their entire families were killed by the Nazis. They dream of retaliation on an epic scale for the Jewish people. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Max starts identifying with the group's monstrous plans...

    The post-World War II drama, based on a true story, stars “A Hidden Life” actor August Diehl alongside “Blade Runner 2049”‘s Sylvia Hoeks. Another of the lead actors in Plan A is Michael Aloni who many of our viewers will recognize as the character Akiva in the hit Netflix series Shtisel.

    The film addresses profound questions about justice, revenge and morality, dealing with the primal feelings of human nature after surviving unimaginable cruelties. PLAN A is an important and different kind of Holocaust film. Revenge is a strong primary feeling that releases a lot of destructive power and dangerous potential, even in people with a moral conscience. This conflict is the dramatic engine of that story.


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