WASHINGTON JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL
Spotlight Sponsored by Chaim Kempner Fund Helen and Milton Covensky Fund
The Spy Behind Home Plate
Dir. Aviva Kempner | 98 min
Documentary United States 2019 World Premiere
Saturday, May 116:00 PM AFI Silver Theatre
Moe Berg led two lives: one was of public accomplishment, easy grace, and dazzling intellect. Hidden from view was his career as an OSS operative, whose daring deeds helped prevent the Axis powers from developing an atom bomb.
Tagged the ‘brainiest man in baseball,’ the son of Jewish immigrants stumped collegiate competitors by calling signals in Latin, and was eventually called up to the majors—playing catcher for the Washington Senators and other clubs during baseball’s Golden Age. He went on to join Babe Ruth on an All-Star tour to Japan, which brought his heroism, athletic career, and spy-craft together, in a tale put to screen by dynamic documentarian Aviva Kempner.
Screening followed by a conversation with filmmaker Aviva Kempner and Franklin Foer, national correspondent for The Atlantic.
Screening followed by a conversation with filmmaker Aviva Kempner
Aviva Kempner has a mission in life. She makes films that investigate non-stereotypical images of Jews in history and celebrate the untold stories of Jewish heroes. To her list of those heroes, she has now added Moe Berg. Based in Washington, DC, director-writer-producer Kempner boasts a resume of critically acclaimed and award-winning documentaries, including Rosenwald, Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg, and Peabody winner The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg. She also produced another WWII documentary, Partisans of Vilna. She is an avid voting rights advocate for the District of Columbia and is the founder of the Washington Jewish Film Festival.
The former editor of The New Republic, Franklin Foer is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and fellow at the New America Foundation. One of today’s most respected magazine journalists, Foer is also the author of the acclaimed book How Soccer Explains the World as well as World Without Mind. An enlightening and engaging speaker, Foer offers astute commentary on economics, globalization, the tech industry, and our current political climate.