Eating Your Way Through the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

EatDrinkFilms is proud to co-present two more features at this year’s San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, following Thursday’s gala opening night showing of Doughwhich will have several more screenings.HotdogNathan’s Famous are known across America, eaten by millions, but few know the history behind the hot dogs from Coney Island. Lloyd Handwerker spent 30 years collecting stories from workers at the stand, family members, and the customers who’ve kept his Polish immigrant grandfather’s business thriving for nearly 100 years.

The many stories of Famous Nathan fascinate. We hear how the business was not a success until Nathan Handwerker lowered the price from 10 cents to 5 cents per dog. He was a demanding boss whose attention to detail paid off with customer satisfaction and big sales—6 million hot dogs a year. He worked his staff hard while treating them well, even making interest-free loans available to employees wanting to buy a home. The flip side of the story explores the tensions between the owner and his two sons, which led to a split, with one of his offspring setting off to open his own wiener business. Home movies, great Coney Island footage and surprising interviews make this a terrific way to find out how this national institution survived and grew. Pass the mustard.

For dates, showtimes, and to buy advance tickets, go here.

wanted 2The Wanted 18 is most likely the first movie you will see told from the point of view of cows—Rivka, Rith, Lola and Goldie. Represented via stop-motion animation, the film intentionally has a comic book feel as it portrays a true story from the 1980s about the residents of Beit Sahour, a largely Christian village in Palestine, deciding to form a collective that would stop them from having to use Israeli dairies to obtain milk for their children. This attempt at self-sufficiency has its humorous side. Palestinians have goats and sheep but not cows … most have never even seen one. The process of learning how to raise them includes sending someone to America to find out how to milk cows.

Mixing the animation with documentary interviews, archival footage and reenactments, filmmakers Amer Shomali and Paul Cowan keep us laughing about subject matter that is rarely expected to be funny. But things turn serious when this show of independence is considered “a threat to the national security of the state of Israel” and the Israeli military is told to take the bovines away and return them to the kibbutz member who sold them. The villagers find innovative ways to hide the cows, including, ironically, at the local butcher’s house. The audience will be in for some unexpected twists.

For dates, showtimes, and to buy advance tickets, go here.

gallery1 A very funny short film, Breaking the Fast is part of a series of shorts called YidLife Crisis. It precedes The Muses of Isaac Bashevis Singer on these days. “Sex, Drugs, and Milk & Meat” is the line the filmmakers use on their website.

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival plays through August 9 in San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, San Rafael and Palo Alto. A complete schedule can be found here.

Read more of our coverage of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, including a preview and our co-presentation Dough.

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