Brattle Theatre Screens Israeli Movie “Saint Clara”
by Susie Davidson
On Tuesday, the Brattle Theatre presented “Saint Clara,” a quirky and fun movie about an Israeli 7th grader who can predict the future. The film was part of an ongoing effort by area students to try to promote Israel in an entertaining, positive way, in light of the current challenging, somber Middle Eastern political and social climate.
The 1995 color film, which runs 84 minutes, stars Maya Maron, Jo Ann Peterson, Halil Elohev, and Lucy Dubnichek as Clara. Directed by Ari Fulman and Uri Sivan, it depicts a love story between a 13-year-old Israeli boy and a 13-year-old, recently immigrated, Russian girl. The girl, Clara, uses her psychic powers to help classmates get better grades, to the dismay of the befuddled teacher and administrators. Two of the classmates eventually plot a revolution in the school, to be achieved by exploiting Clara’s unique talent, but this plan is thwarted by Clara’s own efforts. It’s a delightful tale of the exuberance and imagination of very young adulthood. Edited by Dov Steiner and produced by Marek Rozenbaum, the film’s production cast is rounded out by cinematographer Valentin Blonovok.
Israeli coffee and chocolates accompanied the 9:45 p.m. presentation, which was sponsored by the University Student Division of the Hagshama Department of the World Zionist Organization. The USD, dedicated to the encouragement and facilitation of Israeli programming on hundreds of university campuses throughout North America, serves as a resource for students and young adults who wish to experience Israel in different ways. This effort is an attempt to expose a lighter side of the nation in an academic, urban area venue.
“It's especially important,” said Rebecca Goldberg, Northeast Regional Director of USD/Hagshama, which has organized an agenda of similar future events, “that in these difficult times for Israel, there are students who are trying to promote Israel in an positive, fun way. Their dedication amazes me, and their willingness to cooperate on a regional level is unmatched. Usually, it is very difficult to get students to leave their own campus, but these students have successfully broken that stigma and put together some great cooperative programming.” She said that area students from Harvard, MIT and Lesley, as well as those in Greater Boston, attended the Brattle showing, along with members of the general public, who enjoyed experiencing an uplifting opportunity to view the creative and artistic side of Israel.
This past April, students from Harvard and Lesley University, along with other area colleges and universities, attended a Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Independence Day) party initiated by Goldberg and 19 other Northeast students, which celebrated 54 years of Israel’s independence. The event drew 500 students to the Caprice Lounge in Boston and raised over $3000 for The Yochai Porat Fund, a teaching center for Overseas Students of Magen David Adom, the Israeli EMT service.
For information, please call the Brattle Theatre, located in Brattle Hall at 40 Brattle St., at 617-876-6837, or visit www.brattlefilm.org. For information on USD/Hagshana, please visit www.wzo.org.il/usd.