Purdue University Northwest Odyssey Arts and Cultural Events Series, with the Michigan City Public Library and the Irving Levin Jewish Cultural Fund of Sinai Temple, will present a Jewish Film Festival on Sunday, April 3 from 1 to 4:45 p.m. at the Michigan City Public Library, 100 E. 4th St., Michigan City. The film festival is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be enjoyed during a coffee klatch and cake break.
Both films examine the lives and contributions made by two noted businessmen who both impacted the country, but in different ways.
“Rosenwald” by director Aviva Kempner, is a documentary about how Chicagoan Julius Rosenwald, the son of an immigrant peddler who rose to head Sears, changed the lives of countless individuals he never met. He partnered with Booker T. Washington to build 5,400 Southern schools in African-American communities in the early 1900s during the Jim Crow era. He built YMCAs and housing for African Americans during the Great Migration.
The Rosenwald Fund supported artists like Marian Anderson, Woody Guthrie, Langston Hughes, Gordon Parks and Jacob Lawrence. Interviews in the documentary include civil rights leaders Julian Bond, Ben Jealous and Congressman John Lewis, columnists Eugene Robinson and Clarence Page, Cokie Roberts, Rabbi David Saperstein, Rosenwald school alumni writer Maya Angelou and director George C. Wolfe, along with Rosenwald relatives. The film runs 1 hour, 40 minutes.
“Famous Nathan” by director Lloyd Handwerker, is a visually dynamic documentary of the life and times of the original Nathan’s Famous, a hot dog stand opened in 1916 by Handwerker’s grandparents, Nathan and Ida Handwerker. The documentary was 30 years in the making and weaves decades-spanning archival footage, family photos and home movies, a wide-ranging soundtrack, never-before-heard audio from Nathan’s only interview and interviews with the dedicated band of workers who offer open, honest and often hilarious opinions, memories and an occasional tall tale. The film runs 1 hour, 36 minutes.
The PNW Odyssey Arts and Cultural Events Series features events throughout the year. A schedule of events can be found at www.pnc.edu. For more information about this, or any event in the Odyssey series, contact Judy Jacobi, assistant vice chancellor of University Art Collections and Special Programs at 219-785-5593.