Preview Part 3: Closing highlights at the 2017 Independent Film Festival Boston

Between the schizophrenic weather and the weird playoff showings of the Bruins and Celtics, it’s been hard to be excited about much this April outside of Free Fire and Fate of the Furious hitting theaters.

But fear not, Bostonians: The 15th annual Independent Film Festival Boston is back to give you a week’s worth of stimulating and interesting new movies for you to see and talk about, and a bevy of panels and parties to attend, as well. It runs from April 26 through May 3 at several locations around the city (though mainly the screenings are at the Somerville Theatre and Brattle Theatre).

In two previous posts (opening slate and weekend edition) we’ve already been busy breaking down our most-anticipated movies at the festival this year. The final section of the festival contains insightful looks inside Orthodox Judaism and the LA Riots, humor from two British comedians, the story of the real-life Rocky, and Gillian Robespierre’s triumphant return to the IFFB stage.

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This A24 Sundance acquisition is one of the most interesting films screening at the festival this year, as it provides a window into a community that’s typically handled dismissively in modern cinema: Ultra-orthodox hasidic Jews. Filmed entirely in Yiddish and on location in New York City, Menashe tells the story of a kind supermarket clerk who struggles with raising his son after the death of his wife. Secular director Joshua Weinstein deeply integrated himself into the community in order to make this film, and cast his actors almost exclusively from the neighborhood he filmed in, many of whom had never seen a film before. To read more about the making of this fascinating movie, check out this excellent LA Times article about its making. This is truly not to be missed.

Menashe screens at the Brattle Theatre on Monday, May 1 at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are available here.

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