One of the best Jewish Film Festival films I saw was Mikael Buch’s Let My People Go!, a French film that benefits from terrific production design (if towns in Finland really look like the one in the movie, sign me up!), solid direction and the presence of the great Carmen Maura as the mother of the main character. The plot is incredibly complicated and delightfully so. In essence, Ruben (Nicholas Maury) is a young Jewish Frenchman working as a postman and living with his boyfriend Teemu (Jarkko Nieimi) in a small town in Finland. Things change quickly when a man refuses a registered parcel containing nearly 200,000 Euros and insists on giving them to Ruben. Teemu doesn’t believe the story of how he came into the money and promptly kicks Ruben out, sending the broken-hearted young man back to his rather peculiar family in Paris. What happens after that is…well, I think the film should be allowed to reveal that. I’ll just say that the events are charmingly unpredictable even if the outcome probably isn’t (the ending does give Carmen Maura the film’s best line of dialogue). See this one.
The Fine Arts Theatre’s Asheville Jewish Film Festival continues with Let My People Go! Thursday, May 9 at 7 p.m. with an encore show Friday, May 10 at 1 p.m. For more info go to: www.ashevillejewishfilmfestival.com