Cinematters: Film @ the JCC

The Marlene Meyerson 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

Winter Season Film Pass
  • 1/1/2018 - 4/30/2018
  • $55.00 / $75.00

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. 

Winter season runs from 1/1/18-4/30/18. This pass is for personal use only. Passes do not include film festival screenings.

To ensure tickets to each screening, reservations are still necessary. Pass does not constitute ticket to film/events. Please claim tickets in the JCC lobby or call the box office at 646-505-5708.

Keep the Change
  • 3/20/2018 - 3/22/2018
  • $15.00

After a sold out, opening night showing at the 10th Annual ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York, we present an uptown run of Keep the Change.

Keep the Change
Dir. Rachel Israel
93 mins, USA, Narrative

David is an upper-class charmer struggling to hide his high-functioning autism. Forced by his parents to attend Connections, a support group for people on the autism spectrum, David falls in love with Sarah, a sheltered young woman who challenges his identity as “normal.”

Winner, Best U.S. Narrative Feature and Best New Director, 2017 Tribeca Film Festival

Screening followed by Q&A

Our venue is wheelchair accessible, the film is captioned, and assistive listening devices are available. For other accessibility needs and requests, please email by March 6th.

The Politics of Hate
  • Tue, Mar 27 7:00 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Michael Perlman (US, 2017, 68 min.)

At 16, he became the leader of the Chicago Area Skinheads, later a white supremacist punk band. But when Christian Picciolini started a family, he began questioning his far right views. This timely documentary explores a changing Western political climate, chronicling the rise of the far right in the US and Europe, and giving alarming insights into the ways the alt-right movement operates. It goes on to explore the interconnection between fascist ideologies in the U.S. and Germany that led to the Holocaust straight through to the white supremacist marches in Charlottesville. The film highlights our historical pattern of great progress met by a fierce backlash that ultimately results in a better future. Interwoven within this backdrop is the inspiring story of Christian who now combats hate, featured on 60 Minutes.

The US Holocaust Memorial Museum and the ADL have been helpful in the making of this film.

Screening followed by Q&A with Michael Perlman Film Director, Oren Segal Director Of The ADL’s Center on Extremism, Karen Berg Spiritual Director Of The Kabbalah Centre

Feedback Screening: The Automat
  • Tue, Apr 03 4:00 PM
  • FREE for Everybody

Dir. Lisa Hurwitz (US, 2018)

Join us for a special test screening of The Automat, about the Horn & Hardart cafeterias of New York City. It features original music by Mel Brooks, and interviews from Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Colin Powell, Carl Reiner and others.

After viewing the film, share your feedback with the director.

Special Preview: Bye Bye Germany
  • Tue, Apr 03 7:00 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Sam Garbarksi (Germany, 2017, 101 min.)

Frankfurt, 1946. David Bermann (Moritz Bleibtreu) and his Jewish friends have escaped the Nazi regime and are now dreaming of leaving for America. But how will they get the money in these tough post-war times? The smooth-talking businessman focuses on what the Germans now need most: fine bed linens nicely wrapped in amusing stories! The six talented entertainers go from home to home, praising housewives with ashy chutzpah until the flattered ladies have no choice but to buy their irresistible items. Business flourishes and a bright new future can be seen in the horizon. But questions about Bermann‘s past catch up with him. Why does he have two passports? What about his visit to Hitler‘s mountain retreat? Could he have collaborated with the Nazis? The smart and attractive but uncompromising US officer Sara Simon (Antje Traue) refuses to close the interrogation. She wants to get to the heart of Bermann‘s wartime memories. Sara matches his quick wit with iron severity, but it becomes increasingly difficult for her to escape his charm.

Screening followed by Q&A

GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II
  • Tue, Apr 10 7:00 PM
  • FREE for Everybody

Dir. Lisa Ades (US, 2017, 87 min.)

Join us for a special preview of GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II which tells the profound and unique story of the 550,000 Jewish men and women who served in World War II. Through the eyes of the servicemen and women, the film brings to life the little-known story of Jews in World War II - as active participants in the fight against Hitler, bigotry and intolerance. These brave men and women fought for their nation and their people, for America and for Jews worldwide. Like all Americans, they fought against fascism, but they also waged a more personal fight—to save their brethren in Europe. After years of struggle, they emerged transformed, more powerfully American and more deeply Jewish, determined to continue the fight for equality and tolerance at home. (Premieres on PBS on 4/11).

Film made possible by WNET and CPB.

Screening followed by Q&A with Lisa Ades and protagonists from the film

Saviors on the Screen: After Auschwitz
  • Thu, Apr 12 7:00 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Presented in Commemoration of Yom HaShoah

Dir. Jon Kean (US/Poland, 2017, 83 min.)

“You’re free. Go home.” Most Holocaust films end with these words, but After Auschwitz begins with them, inviting audiences to experience what happened next to survivors of the Shoah-- starting with the stark reality that most had no home to return to in devastated post-war Europe. After Auschwitz is a post-Holocaust documentary that follows six extraordinary women, capturing what it means to move from tragedy and trauma towards life. These women all moved to Los Angeles, married, raised children and became “Americans” but they never truly found a place to call home. What makes the story so much more fascinating is how these women saw, interpreted and interacted with the changing face of America in the second half of the 20th century. They serve as our guides on an unbelievable journey, sometimes celebratory, sometimes heart-breaking but always inspiring.

"An eye-opening view of post-liberation life." - The Jewish Exponent
"Power and moving documentary..." - Miami Sun Sentinel

Screening followed by Q&A with Rachel Jagoda, Director of the American Jewish Historical Society in New York.

The Museum
  • Thu, Apr 19 7:00 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Presented in celebration of Yom Ha'atzmaut:

Dir. Ran Tal (Israel, 2017, 72 min.)

The Museum is a film that seeks to explore the Israeli soul through the galleries, storerooms and visitors of the Israel Museum.This is a documentary puzzle, simultaneously intriguing and amusing, which attempts to define the unique essence of the museum within the exceptional, historical and political context in which it functions.The endless sense of sacrifice which is such a powerful part of the Israeli and Jewish experience are reflected in the museum's daily existence. From slavery in Pharaonic Egypt through Nazism, they're all here with us, molding the present as if they were living among us here and now.

"Perhaps the most important aspect of the movie is that it captures the extraordinay vitality and variety of the Israel Museum. It made me want to visit the museum and become part of this shifting panorama, and I suspect it will have the same effect on many viewers." - The Jerusalem Post

Screening followed by Q&A

Special Preview: Disobedience
  • Wed, Apr 25 7:00 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Sebastián Lelio (UK, 2017, 114 min.)

Sebastián Lelio (A Fantastic Woman, Gloria) directs this adaptation of Naomi Alderman’s novel. A happily single and secular New York photographer, Ronit (Rachel Weisz) is the black sheep of her London-based Orthodox Jewish family. When her revered rabbi father dies, Ronit returns home to pay her respects. When she arrives, she learns that Dovid (Alessandro Nivola) — the heir apparent to Ronit's father and very much the son he never had — has married Ronit's childhood friend Esti (Rachel McAdams). While Dovid prepares to take over at the synagogue, Ronit and Esti become reacquainted. An old romance is rekindled as they explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality. (In NYC theaters, April 27th.)

"Beautifully acted by Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola as the three points of a melancholy romantic triangle, this is a deeply felt drama that exerts a powerful grip." - The Hollywood Reporter

Official Selection - Toronto International Film Festival 2017

Screening followed by Q&A

Special Preview: RBG
  • Tue, May 01 7:00 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Co-presented with Forward

Dir. Julie Cohen & Betsy West (US, 2018, 97 min.)

At the age of 84, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a breathtaking legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. But without a definitive Ginsburg biography, the unique personal journey of this diminutive, quiet warrior's rise to the nation's highest court has been largely unknown, even to some of her biggest fans – until now. RBG is a revelatory documentary exploring Ginsburg 's exceptional life and career from Betsy West and Julie Cohen, and co-produced by Storyville Films and CNN Films. (In NYC theaters, May 4th.)

"This cheerful doc lionizes the notorious Supreme Court justice's inspiring arc from feminist lawyer to internet icon." - Variety

Official Selection - Sundance Film Festival 2018

Screening followed by Q&A with directors

Special Preview: Measure of a Man
  • Tue, May 08 7:00 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Jim Loach (US, 2018)

Measure of a Man is based on a 1970's YA novel, One Fat Summer, by New York Times writer Robert Lipsyte and stars Donald Sutherland, Judy Greer, and Luke Wilson. The story is about an overweight teen with self-esteem problems trying to navigate his way through another summer at an upstate resort with his family. (In NYC theaters, May 11th.)


Screening followed by Q&A

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