Jewish Film Fest to hold virtual showing of “Farewell, Mr. Haffmann”

By Reporter staff

The Binghamton Jewish Film Fest will hold a virtual showing of the film “Farewell, Mr. Haffmann.” A virtual discussion of the film will be moderated by Dora Polachek, Ph.D., who is an associate professor of Romance languages and literature at Binghamton University. People can register for links to the film and discussion on the Federation website, by Thursday, November 30. Donations are appreciated. The suggested donation is $10 per film or $40 for the series. The film will be available for viewing from late November 30 until Sunday, December 3. The virtual discussion will be held on Sunday, December 3, at 6 pm. The Film Fest is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Binghamton with the support of the Victor and Esther Rozen Foundation and the Ithaca Area United Jewish Community.

“Farewell, Mr. Haffmann” takes place during the Nazi invasion of Paris. Joseph Haffmann, a jeweler, arranges for his family to flee the city and offers one of his employees, François Mercier, the chance to take over his store until the conflict ends. Under the German occupation, the two men are forced to strike a deal that will change their lives. The historical drama was directed by Fred Cavayé and is based on a play by Jean-Phillippe Daguerre. 

Monica Reid of Far Out Magazine wrote that “the script by [Jean-Phillippe] Daguerre is riveting for its portrayal of survival under an ever-present danger, its startling and ironic plot twists, its insights into the insidious effects of intolerance on even the best-intentioned, and most of all for its dark yet optimistic and painfully authentic examination of human nature. [Director Fred] Cavayé’s adaptation and direction, and a well-chosen trio of actors in the central roles, do justice to the original material.”

In Filmink Magazine, Mark Demetrius called “Farewell, Mr. Haffmann” a “first-rate drama with considerable cumulative intensity – and a quorum of irony – and it’s unreservedly recommended.” La Nación noted that after “taking off as a thriller with a few dramatic flourishes, the film settles into a constant and well-executed suspense that leans into the brilliant trio of performers.” 

“Join us for this a compelling film and what will certainly be a fascinating discussion of the reality of Jewish life in France during World War II,” said Shelley Hubal, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Binghamton.