A Festive Feeling About Film Unspools Here

The Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival is playing the video version of "I've Got a Secret."

But don't look for Garry Moore as its star or the guests to be some innocuous-looking seniors whose part-time jobs are dismantling bombs.

Instead, it's Da Bomb: "The Secrets," part of the film-fest's opening weekend, is one of Israel's more-explosive films of the past decade, as it proffers a view of the female Orthodox world, "tackling taboo subjects such as feminism, sexual awakening and lesbianism."

Cover your head? Cover your eyes! This is one — much anticipated and acclaimed — unorthodox offering.

The film fest, over 28 successful years, has made no secret of its mission — providing the best and most thought-provoking film fare available, which it intends to do as it unspools a variety of movies, beginning this Saturday night and running through April.

Screenings, many accompanied by speakers, take place at the Gershman Y, Broad and Pine streets.

Pining for a little adventure once you get there? Use your "Noodle": The acclaimed flick about a Jewish woman caring for her Chinese housekeeper's kid gets things rolling this Saturday at 8 p.m., followed by "Strangers," Sunday afternoon; and then Monday night's showing of the aforementioned (shhh!) "The Secrets."

Surf's Up, Dude!

When it comes to scanning the schedule, surfwise there's a lot to look at — including "Surfwise," the engaging documentary about the wacky waterworld of the Paskowitz family, arriving in December; and "Max Baer's Last Right Hook," a mockumentary thinking outside the box — and inside the boxing ring — that pits Max Baer and a German bruiser, in a match in Palestine during World War II.

And who could refuse "Refusenik," the doc on the Free Soviet Jewry movement with its roots in Philadelphia and heroes in the making, such as Joe and Constance Smukler.

But that's coming in February. If you're afraid your popcorn will lose its imitation butter flavoring by then, then this one cuts it earlier: Nov. 17, "Constantine's Sword," which looks at anti-Semitism through the ages around the globe.

The film festival unearths the hottest and hippest young moviemakers with a special weekend in March, including the ethereal "In a Dream," an acclaimed work by Jeremiah Zagar about his pioneering artist dad, Isaiah, of Philadelphia.

The festival goes on and on. Want the rest? Go online to: www.pjff.org.

And as long as you're sitting in the dark, don't forget the Jujy Fruits!



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