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Campfire. Israeli Selection for Best Foreign Film, 2005 Academy Award Winner. 

Israeli Film Festival Takes on Issues of War, Romance and Religion

Bruce Ticker

The 10th annual Israeli Film Festival of Greater Philadelphia offers a variety of issues to explore, including terrorism, love, the Holocaust, a religious struggle and a health crisis.

Opening night for the festival was Feb.25 with "Camp Fire," prior to publication of this month's Philadelphia Jewish Voice. However, there are still plenty of award-winning Israeli films left to watch, as follows:

Saturday, March 4 - In "No. 17," director David Ofek sets out to unravel the mystery of an unidentified 17th victim of a bus bombing. Screening will be at 7:30 p.m. at Gratz College Auditorium, 7605 Old York Road, Melrose Park.

Sunday, March 5 - In the religious, male-dominated Druze community, if Mona crosses the border to marry her fiance, a Syrian television star, she may never be able to return to Israel. The movie will be presented at 7 p.m. at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute, 824 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr. 

Sunday, March 12 - In "39 Pounds of Love," Ami was diagnosed as a child with being terminally ill with Muscular Dystrophy, but now at 34 he decides to travel to the United States to meet his doctor. The movie will be screened at 2 p.m. at the National Liberty Museum, 321 Chestnut St., Philadelphia.

Thursday, March 16 - "OR (Mon Tresor)" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. at Temple University, Annenberg, Hall #3, 2020 13th St., Philadelphia. Or, the daughter of a prostitute, decides to change their lives. Dana Ivgi, who portrays OR, won for Best Actress at the Israeli Academy Awards, 2004. 

Saturday, March 18 - "Green Chariot" and "Eicha" will be screened at 7:30 p.m. at Congregation Or Shalom, 835 Darby Paoli Road, Berwyn. In "Green Chariot," Torah student Yair finds a necklace with a cross among his dead mother's possessions and struggles with his new religious identity. "Eicha" is a short comedy-drama. "Green Chariot" director Gilad Goldschmidt will be guest speaker.

Saturday, March 25 - "Metallic Blues" will be presented as the closing program at 8 p.m. at the Gershman Y, 401 S. Broad St., Philadelphia. The film involves ghosts of the Holocaust as two Israeli car dealers head to Germany of turning a quick buck on a ?78 Lincoln stretch limo. It took two awards at the Jerusalem Film Festival of 2004.

The festival is supported by the Center for Israel and Overseas; Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia; the Consulate General of Israel; Jewish Community Centers of Greater Philadelphia; and the Collaborative.

For more information, call 215 834-8493 or access