Two films about discovering and rediscovering Jewish identity present different perspectives on what it means to live a Jewish life.
THE MOON IS JEWISH
Ksiezyc To Zyd
Poland, 2011, documentary
Polish with English subtitles
Director: Michal Tkaczynski
Paweł, a former skinhead, built his identity on soccer and hatred, brawling with fans of the opposite teams and bullying minorities. His life suddenly changes when his wife discovers Paweł’s Jewish ancestry which ignites a fierce identity struggle. Eventually he transforms both physically and spiritually, becoming an Orthodox Jew. The film title is cleverly borrowed from a contemporary song about a fabricated Jewish plot to claim that everything--Chopin, the pillow, even the moon--is Jewish. This unusual, inspiring story follows someone who emerges from a life of hate to find his soul come to life within that which was once the source of his hatred.
36 RIGHTEOUS MEN
Los 36 Justos
Argentina, 2010, documentary
English and Spanish with English subtitles
Director: Daniel Burman
Every year, a group of Orthodox Jewish friends from Argentina journeys 2,500 miles to Russia, Ukraine and Poland to visit the graves of the 36 Righteous Men, the Tzadikim, who are said to live on earth to do good anonymously in each generation. Joining the group one August, WJFF favorite Burman (2010 Visionary Award, Waiting for the Messiah WJFF 2001, Family Law WJFF 2006, Lost Embrace WJFF 2010) records his first documentary, turning the camera on his own personal exploration of discovery and identity, a skeptical secular Jew amidst observant believers.
CO-SPONSORED BY the Embassy of Argentina and Embassy of Poland
PRESENTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH the DCJCC’s Leo & Anna Smilow Center for Jewish Living and Learning