Join us for premieres and previews, meet filmmakers, and engage in conversations about topics central to our community.

Cinematters: Film @ the JCC

JCC Manhattan's film program showcases films that promote change and reflect on pertinent themes. Featuring previews and special engagements, CINEMATTERS emphasizes films on social justice, social action, and matters crucial to our New York community and society at large. Presenting movies from around the world, our screenings include special guest speakers, filmmakers, actors, and other interactive opportunities to further engage with the themes in our award-winning films. We believe films move and impact audiences and are one of the most compelling ways to effect change. We invite you to be inspired, join the conversation, and begin to change our world.


Upcoming Screenings

Fall Season Film Pass
  • 9/1/2015 - 12/31/2015
  • $50.00 / $70.00

Purchase a pass for our acclaimed series and enjoy a spectacular season of preview and premiere films, special cinematic events and discussions. Enjoy cutting edge films from around the world, documentaries and special engagements, followed by conversations with filmmakers and special guest speakers.

*USAGE NOTES: Fall season runs from 9/1/15-12/31/15. This pass is for personal use only. Passes do not include film festival screenings. To assure tickets to each screening, reservations are still necessary. Please claim tickets in the JCC lobby. Pass does not constitute ticket to films/events.*

(Dis)Honesty - The Truth About Lies
  • Tue, Oct 13 7:30 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Yael Melamede (USA, 2015, 89 min.)

A documentary feature film that explores the human tendency to be dishonest. Inspired by the work of behavioral economist Dan Ariely, the film interweaves personal stories, expert opinions, behavioral experiments, and archival footage to reveal how and why people lie.

Screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Yael Melamede.

Experimenter: The Stanley Milgram Story
  • Wed, Oct 14 7:00 PM
  • FREE for Everybody

Dir. Michael Almereyda (USA, 2015, 98 min.)

Yale University, 1961. Stanley Milgram (Peter Sarsgaard) designs a psychology experiment that remains relevant to this day, in which people think they’re delivering painful electric shocks to an affable stranger (Jim Gaffigan) strapped into a chair in another room.  Disregarding his pleas for mercy, the majority of subjects do not stop the experiment, administering what they think are near-fatal electric shocks, simply because they’ve been told to. With Nazi Adolf Eichmann’s trial airing in living rooms across America, Milgram’s exploration of authority and conformity strikes a nerve in popular culture and the scientific community. Celebrated in some circles, he is also accused of being a deceptive, manipulative monster. His wife Sasha (Winona Ryder) anchors him through it all. EXPERIMENTER invites us inside Milgram’s whirring mind in this bracing portrait of a brilliant man whose conscience and creative spirit continue to be resonant, poignant, and inspirational.

Special preview. Experimenter opens in theaters Oct 16.

Voices From The Booth
  • Tue, Oct 20 7:30 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Lina Chaplin (Israel, 2014, 49 min.)

There are tens of thousands of security guards in Israel, most of them of Russian origin. Many of them used to be well-respected professionals or artists, but when they immigrated to Israel they found themselves doing security work in order to survive. The heroes of our film—former musicians, a writer, and a surgeon—determine to remain creative in spite of it all.

Voices From the Booth is presented by Generation R with generous support from Genesis Philanthropy Group. Enjoy discussion and drinks with fellow RSJ's following the screening.

How to Dance in Ohio
Reelabilities Film Festival
  • Tue, Oct 27 7:30 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Alexandra Shiva (USA, 2015, 89 min)

A first kiss. A first dance. These are the rites of passage of American youth that hold the promise of magic, romance, and initiation into adulthood. For some teenagers and young adults on the autism spectrum, the transition is nothing less than paralyzing. In Columbus, Ohio, a group of young people with an array of developmental challenges prepares for an iconic event—a spring formal dance. They deconstruct fear and larger-than-life social anxiety one step at a time by picking dates, dresses, and, ultimately, a king and Queen of the prom. How to Dance in Ohio is a story of the universal human need to grow, connect, and belong, uniquely dramatized by individuals facing the deepest struggles with social survival.

Special presentation with HBO.

What Our Fathers Did: A Nazi Legacy
  • Tue, Nov 03 7:30 PM
  • FREE for s / $5.00

Dir. David Evans (UK, 2015, 92 min.)

A poignant, thought-provoking account of friendship and the toll of inherited guilt, What Our Fathers Did explores the relationship between two men, each of whom are the children of very high-ranking Nazi officials and possess starkly contrasting attitudes toward their fathers. Eminent human rights lawyer Philippe Sands investigates the complicated connection between the two, and even delves into the story of his own grandfather who escaped the same town where their fathers carried out mass killings. The three embark on an emotional journey together, examining the sins of their fathers and providing a unique view of the father-son relationship, ultimately coming to some very unexpected and difficult conclusions.

Advance screening. What Our Fathers Did opens in Lincoln Plaza on Nov 6.

Other Israel Film Festival
Mr. Kaplan
  • Tue, Nov 17 7:30 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Álvaro Brechner (Uruguay, 2014, 98 min.)

In this award winning comedy, Jacob Kaplan breaks away from his ordinary life in Uruguay, when he comes up with a plan to capture an elderly German who he suspects of being a runaway Nazi. Ignoring his family’s concerns about his health, Jacob secretly recruits a questionable former police officer to help him investigate.

Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem
  • Tue, Dec 01 7:30 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. John Lollos & Brad Rothschild (USA, 2014, 75 min.)

Portraits of two beloved icons - Sholom Aleichem and Theodore Bikel - are woven together in this enchanting documentary. The two men have much in common: wit, wisdom and talent, all shot through with deep humanity and Yiddishkeit. Theodore Bikel, the unstoppable performer whose career spans more than 150 screen roles (including an Oscar-nominated turn in The Defiant Ones) and countless stage and musical productions, is also the foremost interpreter of Sholom Aleichem's work. Now 90, Bikel has played Tevye the Milkman on stage more than 2,000 times, and he has animated Aleichem's work through his creation of two celebrated musical plays about the great Russian author. The new film Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem combines Bikel's charismatic storytelling and masterful performances with a broader exploration of Aleichem's remarkable life and work.

Tree Man
  • Tue, Dec 08 7:30 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Jon Reiner & Brad Rothschild (USA, 2015, 82 min.)

Every holiday season, hundreds of Christmas tree sellers descend upon the streets of New York City to ply their trade. Having left their homes and families behind, often living out of their cars and vans, they endure the adversity of a migrant's survival. Francois, a "Tree Man" and father of three from Quebec, returns to the same Manhattan street corner each year to deliver the magic of the season. TREE MAN explores Francois' journey and the relationships that sustain him -- with his customers, employees and the people of his adopted neighborhood. While he may sell trees for a living, it is his role as the neighborhood Tree Man that draws the community closer together and gives meaning to his grueling month far from home.

Special Preview: Son of Saul
  • Tue, Dec 15 7:30 PM
  • FREE for Everybody

Dir. László Nemes (Hungary, 2015, 107 min.)

Winner of the Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix

October 1944, Auschwitz-Birkenau. Saul Ausländer is a Hungarian member of the Sonderkommando, the group of Jewish prisoners isolated from the camp and forced to assist the Nazis in the machinery of large-scale extermination. While working in one of the crematoriums, Saul discovers the body of a boy he takes for his son. As the Sonderkommando plans a rebellion, Saul decides to carry out an impossible task: save the child's body from the flames, find a rabbi to recite the mourner’s Kaddish and offer the boy a proper burial.

Son of Saul opens in theaters Dec 18.

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