To prepare you for 21st year of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, completely virtual-for-the-first time as you’ve never seen before, we bring you 21 previews spotlighting the breath of films offered for your home viewing. The films, which represent more than half of those in the AJFF lineup Feb. 17-28, include classics, intimate family dramas, upbeat comedy and historic documentaries. Sit back and relax as the AJFF brings us together through film.
Dvora Omer, one of the most prolific and popular children’s writers in Israel’s history, is the subject of this very moving documentary film. It won the 2020 Ophir Award (Israel’s Oscar) for best documentary film under 60 minutes, and deservedly so.
Written and directed by one of Omer’s children, Ron Omer, the film revisits her childhood and the seminal event that shaped her, …. being orphaned at 11 years old and left to be raised by members of the Kibbutz Maoz Haim when her mother apparently committed suicide, or at least that’s what she was told.
Dvora Omer’s sense of loss and abandonment, which ensued, led her to describe herself as a woman with “rain in [her] eyes” and pervaded many of the 100-plus books, plays and radio scripts she penned. Despite living an outwardly “charmed” life, married to theater actor Shmuel Omer, who went on to become the director of Israel’s national theater, Ha’Bima, having three children and an enviable career, Omer never fully recovered from losing her mother.
She received numerous awards, including the Yatziv Prize (1959), the Lamban Prize Awards (1967, 1981), the Ministry of Education prize (1973), the Prime Minister’s Prize (1979), the Ze’ev Prize (1981, 1991), the Hadassah Prize (2002) the Ministry of Education Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2005) the Israel Prize for lifetime achievement (2006) and the ACUM Lifetime Achievement Award (2012).
Still, she remained a lifelong depressive and even contemplated suicide herself later in life. Despite her inner turmoil, primarily engendered by the false narrative she had been given, Omer managed to impact the lives of the vast majority of Israelis and remains an integral part of their shared childhood memories.