There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Ethiopian Jews in Israel live as exiles from their native land and outsiders in their adopted home. Two documentaries at the Jewish Diaspora Film Festival demonstrate the struggles, compromises, and decisions that result from their displacement. Flour and Videotapes follows Yossi and Shmuel, two young Ethiopian-Israeli comedians who riff on the confusion of adjusting to a new country. After producing a videotape of their act, they do some grass-roots marketing—that is to say, they travel across Israel as extra cargo in a van that sells sacks of flour. When the comedians choose to edit their video after Shmuel’s father complains that one skit insults the dead, their own attempts to adapt while embracing tradition mirror the trials their characters face. The movie screens with Gesho, a documentary about a 13-year-old boy who loves to play soccer and idolizes his older brother. But Gesho’s life is anything but typical: He was one of the many Ethiopian Jews airlifted to Israel in 1991. And though he sometimes feels self-conscious when walking down the street, and his home may be crowded (nine relatives live in a single trailer), Gesho is surrounded by love and encouragement. He clearly feels both excited about and beholden to a newly visible path to success. Both films show at 7:30 p.m. at the District of Columbia Jewish Community Center’s Goldman Theater, 16th and Q Streets NW. $9. (202) 777-3247. (Josh Levin)