This traveling festival makes its fifth annual stop in Chicago from Wednesday, November 3, through Sunday, November 14, at Pipers Alley and Highland Park. Tickets for the opening gala are $75, though the film screening that night, Turn Left at the End of the World, repeats later in the festival with a standard admission. Regular tickets are $9.25, $6.50 for students, seniors, and children under 12; all shows before 6 PM cost $6.50, and a festival pass, good for five screenings but not the opening gala, costs $40. For more information call 877-966-5566; a full festival schedule appears online at www.israelfilmfestival.com/iff04.
Directed by Avi Nesher, Turn Left at the End of the World (108 min.) is a neatly scripted drama about two families, one Indian and the other Moroccan, who've been lured to Israel in the late 60s by the promise of better jobs but instead find themselves laboring at a bottle factory in the Negev desert. Even in this desolate setting, the two immigrant communities are divided by their secondhand French and British cultures, though a friendship flowers between the families' teenage daughters (Liraz Charchi and Neta Garty). A strike at the factory plunges the settlement into conflict with its Israeli hosts, yet politics take a backseat to the young women's coming-of-age, which Nesher handles with sincerity and sensitivity. (Pipers Alley, Wed 11/3, 7:30 PM)
Screening at Pipers Alley on Thursday, November 4, are Naftaly Gliksberg's Columbia: The Tragic Loss (5:30 PM), Omri Levy's Miss Entebbe (7:30 PM), and Ori Inbar's A Silence of the Sirens (9:45 PM).