Introduction 1998
Plakat zum Film

Because of the 50th anniversary of the state of Israel we have dedicated parts of our programe to Israeli films and to films about Israel.

In order to celebrate this birthday in a more representative cinema, we moved to the KÜNSTLERHAUS KINO at Karlsplatz.

This cinema is not only suitable for disabled persons - one of our main principles - but furthermore it offers the necessary infra-structure which allows projections in all common film and video formats in an ecxellent quality.

For illustrating the topics of the eighth Film Week with a greater number of films, we have extended the festival from six to thirteen days.

Courtesy Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive

But just eleven "full days" and two "After-Shabbat" screenings are programmed.
Israels history will be decribed in two series:

1897 - 1948: The Development of Film in Palestine
1948 - 1998: 50 Years of Israel in Features and Documentary-Films

Like in the years before we will also present recent films related to the topics Judaism/Israel in an International Panorama.
Even though Israel has been known for fifty years as a "film country", it is from that point of view terra incognita in Austria. Therefore 2/3 of all presented films (40 showings) are dealing with Israel or come from Israel.

Selecting the films we endeavoured to document the history of Israel/Palestine since the beginning of cinema, namely 100 years ago.

This presentation starts with 16 films which last each time one minute. That material of the Brothers Lumičre was put together to the programme
Lumičre en Palestine. Moreover we will screen striking productions from every epoch of Israeli cinema, most of them have never been shown here before or have never been broadcast on Austrian TV.

Dealing with the topic "50 years of Isreal" it has always been clear to us that  - as they are declared - Palestinian films are imperative for a reliable programme. So we invited two Israeli directors, one Arab and one Jew, to present their productions personally.

The opening film of the JFW 98,
Left Luggage, is the directing debut of the well known Dutch actor Jeroen Krabbé; beside Isabella Rossellini, Laura Fraser, Marianne Sägebrecht and Maximilian Schell he plays the lead. Jeroen Krabbé will most probably be present at the opening night.

Other features of our international Panorma are Daniel S. Burmans Argentinian melodrama about revenge,
A Chrysanthemum bursts in Cincoesquinas, Robert Glinskis film about Stalinistic "purge"", All that really matters from Poland, Roger Hanins declaration of love to his mother, Soleil (starring Sophia Loren), and Thomas Gilous box-office-hit La Vérité si je mens from France, as well as Boaz Yakins description of the emancipation of a  Khassidic American woman, A Price above Rubies with Renée Zellweger who was generally noticed in the Tom-Cruise-hit Jerry Maguire.

Because of the fact that also Hollwood commented the foundation of the state Israel, most of the time large-scale and with a star cast, we considered a presentation of Otto Premingers
Exodus as an attractive addition. On Corpus Cristi holiday (June 11) we will show in a matinee a brand-new copy  with restored stereo sound  - imagine that music... - which was made available to us by MGM.

Among the most remarkable documentary-films by non-Israeli directors are without a doubt Chris Markers
Description of a Struggle and the interview - analysies Warum Israel? und Tsahal of Claude Lanzmann, whose Shoah was also shown in Austria. Most probabaly Claude Lanzmann will be present during the screening of his films.

More interesting international documentaries are: Mark Jonathan Harris'
The long Way home, which was this year awarded with the Oscar for the best documentary-film of 1997 and which will be shown in the presence of Simon Wiesenthal; Barbara Kopples Woody-Allen-portrait Wild Man Blues, Barbara Pfeffers Jewish Soul, American Beat - The Return and Simcha Jacobovicis Hollywoodism - Jews, Movies and the American Dream about rise and fall of Jewish Hollywood-moguls. Three documentaries which were shot in Austria are also on our list: Frederick Bakers Eric Hobsbawn and the Pressburger Bahn, Norbert Prettenthalers and Herbert Tucmandls Die Goldene Stadt as well as Petrus van der Lets and Christian Schüllers Rasse Mensch - Jeder Mensch ein Mischling.

Because of a rush we will repeat a film from last year: Rex Bloomsteins collage about Jewish humour
Next time, dear God, please choose someone else: Jewish Humor, American Style.

We want to thank all those people whose knowledge and time and, one should not forget that, whose money made the Jewish Film Weeks 1998 possible.

Finally we would like to point out that the JFW organizes screenings
on June 6 and 13 only "after Shabbath" and on June 12 before Shabbath.
During Shabbath, the Künstlerhaus-Kino will screen on these 3 days
Woody Allens Deconstructing Harry in the German version: Harry außer sich.

Stephan Gáspár, Monika and Frédéric-Gérard Kaczek