Israeli films were the focus of the 26th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, one of the most prominent film festivals in Northern Europe, held from November 11-27 in Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia. Each year, 250 feature films and 200 short films are screened at the festival, which attracts 80,000 viewers, 1,000 guests and more than 160 journalists.
Underscoring the festival’s significance for Israeli cinema, Hili Tropper, who was serving as Israel’s Minister of Culture and Sport when the festival took place, traveled to Estonia to attend the festival and met with Estonian government officials during his visit.
This year, sixteen full-length Israeli feature films were screened at the festival, including “My Neighbor Adolf,” which was honored as the festival’s opening film. The film, a black comedy set in South America in 1960, tells the story of Mr. Polsky, a Holocaust survivor who is convinced that his new neighbor is Adolf Hitler, who, he believes, has somehow survived World War II and escaped to Colombia. Polsky has difficulty convincing others of his neighbor’s true identity and has to interact with him in order to prove his claim.
The closing film at the festival was “Karaoke,” which was nominated for 13 Israeli Academy Awards and was the winner of the Audience Award at the Jerusalem Film Festival. The comedy stars Sasson Gabay and Rita Shukrun as a late middle-aged couple who become enthralled with their new neighbor Itzik Marciano (Lior Ashkenazi) and find their lives transformed and their relationship changed due to the influence of their neighbor.
Support for the Israeli films shown at the festival was provided by, the Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts, the Israel Film Fund and Israel’s Foreign Ministry.