The Boston Jewish Film Festival ends with "Dusk"


On Saturday, another terrific Boston Jewish Film Festival ends with a bang. Or maybe with a "Crash." The BJFF's final show, its "surprise screening," is Israeli director Alon Zingman's debut feature "Dusk," which shares the multi-story, interconnected structure of Paul Haggis's 2004 Oscar winner, and like that film even has an auto accident as a central event. But unlike "Crash," this film's narrative links seem less like coincidences cooked up by a scriptwriter and more like the head-scratching synchronicities that happen in real life. (Or in the films of Krzysztof Kieslowski, whose masterpiece the "Three Colors Trilogy" comes out on November 15 in new Criterion DVD and blu-ray boxed set editions.)

The characters include a young Argentine woman and her nine-year-old son dealing with the absence of his father; a woman who suddenly discovers that she has been adopted and tracks down her biological mother; and a doctor estranged from his father, a police officer. But maybe the most compelling drama is that of the teenager whose father inadvertently implicates her in a criminal act. She had before regarded her father as a figure of authority, strength, and morality, but now she sees that he is far from infallible. Up to this point she has been dependent on him, and he has been in charge of her destiny. But now she must recognize his frailty and assert her own strength. This theme of the treacherous bond between parents and children, more than its ingenious interweaving of incidents, unifies "Dusk" into a provocative, satisfying whole and makes it an excellent choice to cap off this always rewarding annual event.

 "Dusk" screens Saturday, November 12 at 8:30 pm at the Museum of Fine Arts.


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