Edlavitch DCJCC Presents JxJ Cultural Festival

A warm but suffocating community of Syrian Jews living in Mexico exerts pressure on and steps up matchmaking efforts when one of its attractive young members reveals she’s dating out of the faith. That’s a theme of “Leona,” the debut film by Isaac Cherem who is a member of that community.

“I had to find enough sympathy to be able to write and direct those characters,” he said. “Of course, I sympathize more with Ariela (the heroine).”

In the documentary “Forgotten Soldier,” a Dutch Jew who rarely talked about his wartime experiences emerges as an “unsung hero” who rescued hundreds of Jews from the Nazis in Lyon, France, in the early 1940s, said Lucile Smith, its director. Despite the skepticism of many, Sally Noach’s daughter found proof of her father’s valor when she meets survivors he had saved.

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