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Larry Baras made his millions making hole-less bagels pre-filled with cream cheese. But re-inventing breakfast wasn’t enough, so he sunk some of that money into founding the Israel Baseball League. Holy Land Hardball documents Baras’ attempt at bringing America’s pastime to Israel, from the marketing research (a montage of interviews reveals that the few Isrealis who are familiar with the game think it’s boring as hell), to tryouts in New York, Miami, and the Dominican Republic, where men as old as 70 don cups and cleats in hopes of playing in the Promised Land, and secular family men just hope to revive their adolescent dreams. It’s not until the end that the viewer finds out if the league gets to play its first game—Isreali Customs demands a $30,000 tariff for the league’s uniforms and equipment after a mix-up leads them to believe that Baras plans to open a sporting goods store—but by that point, the first pitch almost doesn’t matter: The game is secondary to the very real people who give up everything back home just to play one more time.
THE MOVIE SHOWS TUESDAY AT 10:30 A.M. AT CINEMA ARTS THEATER, 9550 MAIN ST., FAIRFAX, AS PART OF THE 9TH NOVA INTERNATIONAL JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL. $30. (703) 978-6991.