San Diego Jewish Film Festival

The San Diego Jewish Film Festival opens Feb. 8 with a documentary on Sammy Davis, Jr., “I’ve Gotta Be Me” and closes with Greg McLean’s “Jungle,” about the true story of a young Israeli man’s adventure in the Bolivian jungle.

For the 28th year the San Diego Jewish Film Festival once again assembles a diverse array of features, documentaries and shorts for viewers to choose from.

One of the best things about the festival is the emphasis it places on putting films into a context and bringing people and filmmakers to screenings to provide that context.

For the festival’s closing night film, “Jungle,” Australian filmmaker McLean will be on hand to discuss how a horror director known as part of the “splat pack” had his new film selected for the San Diego Jewish Film Festival.

He confessed, “It’s not an obvious match.”

But the film is based on the true story of a young Israeli man named Yossef Ghinsberg who survived 19 days on his own in a South American jungle. “Harry Potter’s” Daniel Radcliffe takes on the role and put himself through quite an ordeal to shoot the film.

McLean, as he did in his first film “Wolf Creek,” turns nature and environment into a character. In “Wolf Creek” the vast emptiness of the Australia outback provides one layer of terror in the film. In “Jungle,” the setting provides different challenges and is densely cluttered with all forms of life, some dangerous. The noise of the jungle at night almost drives Ghinsberg crazy.

Source: KPBS

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