Jessica Chastain Plays A Savior Of The Jews

In the weekend’s high-profile opening, Jessica Chastain plays a zookeeper’s wife. What makes her unique is how she resists Nazi occupiers trying to exterminate Warsaw’s Jews.

Two other films opening this weekend also has Jewish subject matter, but neither involves Jessica Chastain. One film tours the new revolution in Jewish cuisine. The other delivers a blood-boiling history of the Jewish settler movement.

Otherwise, also out this week are a restoration of a 2001 cult classic and a new film from the director of Like Father, Like Son.

After The Storm

A man-child stuck in the past provides the dramatic focus of acclaimed Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s new film. Once a promising novelist, Ryota is now a private detective and deadbeat divorced dad. His estranged ex-wife may have moved on. But the divorced father still wants a place in son Shingo’s life. Perhaps a fierce summer storm will provide the bonding opportunity Ryota craves.

Opens March 31 at the Embarcadero Center Cinemas, the Shattuck Cinemas, and the Smith Rafael Film Center

The Devotion Of Suspect X

In this adaptation of Keigo Higashino’s award-winning novel, a university physicist is assisting in a murder investigation. He correctly suspects a longtime rival and friend from his early university days may be involved. The rivalry flares anew as the two begin a battle of wits to outmaneuver and out-think each other.

Opens March 31 at the AMC Metreon 16

Donnie Darko

Richard Kelly’s cult classic gets newly restored in 4K for the big screen. Narcoleptic high school student Donnie Darko has an imaginary friend named Frank. This friend happens to be a 6-foot tall rabbit who tells Donnie the world will end in 28 days and change. As the clock ticks down, Donnie does everything from navigating high school life to somehow maintaining the space-time continuum.

Opens March 31 at the Roxie Theatre. Director Richard Kelly will appear in person for Q & A’s after the April 2nd 8 PM screening and the April 3rd 7 PM show. However, both those screenings are Sold Out.

In Search of Israeli Cuisine

Chef Michael Solomonov, owner of the James Beard award-winning restaurant Zahav, guides viewers through Israel’s incredible culinary revolution and the people who make it happen. This remarkable revolution takes place in a New Jersey-sized country that’s home to over 100 cultures. Solomonov talks to everyone from Israeli home cooks to cheesemakers as he shows how these cooks were influenced and the modern spins they put on their grandmothers’ recipes.

Opens March 31 at the Opera Plaza Cinemas and the Shattuck Cinemas

Northern Lights: A Journey To Love

Charlie Sr.’s carefree playboy life in Alaska comes to an end when he’s now forced to take care of Charlie Jr., the son he abandoned in The Philippines. Crossing their paths is quirky Angel, who’s come to Alaska to look for her missing mother. Can these three people who yearn for the experience of love find it under the Northern Lights?

Opens March 31 at the Century 20 Daly City and the Century at Tanforan

The Settlers

Shimon Dotan’s sure-to-be-controversial documentary traces the history of Israel’s settler movement from the aftermath of the Six Day War to the present. What was once Jewish religious zealots’ effort to “redeem the Biblical land of Israel,” the settler movement has now become a threat to Middle East stability. Israeli settlers candidly chill viewers with the scope of their ambitions.

Opens March 31 at the Roxie Theatre

The Zookeeper’s Wife

Jessica Chastain plays the title role in this adaptation of Diane Ackerman’s best-selling real life story. In 1939 Poland, Antonina Zabinska (Jessica Chastain) and husband Dr. Jan Zabinski have their stewardship of the Warsaw Zoo usurped after the Nazis successfully invade the country. To fight back in their way, the couple works with the Resistance. They also risk their family’s well-being to help save Jews trapped in the Warsaw ghetto. Niki Caro (Whale Rider) helms this adaptation.

Opens March 31 at the Albany Twin, the Century San Francisco Centre 9, the CineArts Sequoia, the Guild Theatre, the Piedmont Theatre, the Redwood Downtown 20, the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, and the UA Stonestown Twin

About the Author

I’m a film reviewer for the Beyond Chron blog. Agnes Varda and Hirokazu Kore-eda are among my favorite filmmakers. I occasionally break down and watch a good action film…but don’t tell anyone.

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