by Jim Ridley
Typically, nobody leaves the Nashville Jewish Film Festival's Monday lunch matinee hungry. The event typically pairs a box lunch with a couple of short films and a talk from a visiting filmmaker. Today's event at The Belcourt might be different, however — unless The Cake Lady happened to bring some of the sweets that got her the nickname.
Atlanta (by way of Brooklyn) resident Fay Tenenbaum was 88 years old when her granddaughter Brittany began a documentary following her transition into assisted-living quarters at the city's Jewish Tower. By that time, over 64 years of living down South, Mrs. Tenenbaum had a reputation throughout the community for the pound cakes she baked and gave away, whether the recipient was a neighbor having a birthday or the fellas down at the local fire hall.
The NJFF's guests for today's 12:15 screening of "The Cake Lady" are producer Brittany Tenenbaum, director Adam Hirsch, and best of all, The Cake Lady herself, Fay Tenenbaum. (I still have my mother's apricot-nectar cake recipe for just such an occasion.) Also on the bill is the hour-long doc Dressing America: Tales from the Garment Center, which offers eyewitness accounts of the thriving 1920s New York garment trade that built the U.S. fashion industry. Howard Stringer, retired president and chairman of apparel manufacturer Colonial Corp. of America, will share his insights into the business.
Tickets are $10 at The Belcourt, and in previous years a few of the $25 box lunches have been available for walk-up patrons. For ticket and reservation information, click here.
Below: the trailer for tonight's 7 p.m. attraction Brothers, an award-winning Israeli drama in subtitled Hebrew tackling a hot-button issue: whether orthodox yeshiva students should be forced to fight for their country. Rabbi Phillip Lieberman, Vanderbilt professor of Jewish studies, will be on hand for the screening.