Turn Left at the End of the World
“A warm and wonderful story set against the backdrop of a small town in Israel’s Negev desert. A gem of a movie!”
It’s the late 1960s, and two Jewish immigrant families, one from Morocco and the other from India, living in an isolated Israeli village must learn to coexist as neighbors. They have little in common except for their teenage daughters and hope for a better life. Amid the culture clash, Moroccan Nicole and Indian Sara forge a friendship despite their parents’ resentments and prejudices in this coming-of-age drama.
Live and Become
In 1984, in a Sudanese refugee camp sheltering Ethiopians displaced by civil war and famine, the Israeli army has begun “Operation Moses”, airlifting thousands of Ethiopians Jews, to Israel. A Christian Ethiopian mother persuades a Jewish woman whose own son has just died from starvation, to allow her son to assume his identity. In tears, she orders her son to never divulge his secret for fear he will be returned, and tells him to “live and become”.
PRINCE OF EGYPT
DreamWorks, USA, 1998, 99 mins, video
The musical, animated version of the Exodus story contains depictions of Jews of color.
FOREIGN SISTER- Director: Dan Wolman
Israel, 2000, 86 min.
Hebrew, Amharic with subtitles
Everyday Naomi, a 50-year old woman from Tel Aviv, wakes up early in the morning with the same routine. She takes out the garbage, washes last night’s dishes, starts doing laundry, and wakes up the family for work and school. She’s bored and tired out of her mind. She craves excitement or something different. When her husband decides to ease her stress, he hires a maid to help her out. Negist (Markos), the maid, is an Ethiopian Christian illegal worker. At first reluctant to let Negist handle a lot of her work, Naomi warms up to Negist, and is shock to discover her maid’s plight for comfort. Not only is Negist in the country illegal and avoiding deportation, she lives in a house with 9 other illegal immigrants.
KEEP ON WALKING: JOSHUA NELSON: THE JEWISH GOSPEL SINGER
– Director: Tana Ross, Jesper Sorensen, Freke Vuijst and Vibeke Winding
USA, 1980, 53 min.
A seemingly contradictory portrait of a young African-American observant Jew who is both an up-and-coming gospel singer and a Hebrew teacher.
MARRIED IN AMERICA
Cheryl deBorja and Dr. Neal Moskowitz are the featured subjects on the A&E Network’s documentary series “Married in America”. The documentary will follow their marriage for the next 10 years. A&E has already aired the first episode in June 2002 and will film them for the next installment sometime this winter.
MENELIK- Director: Daniel Wachsmann
Israel , 1999, 60 min.
Hebrew and Ahmaric w/subtitles
Gadi Abaja is a young Ethiopian living on the margins of Israeli society in Tel-Aviv’s central bus station. He survives by theft, but he dreams of turning the station’s public-address system into a late-night Amharic radio show with a reggae beat – a cultural symbol of minority protest. As the son of a Jewish father and a Christian mother, Gadi is like Menelik, the legendary son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
Feeling misunderstood by Israelis, he misses his mother in Ethiopia very much and awaits a reply to his many letters – which never come. The film follows Gadi’s journey back to his birthplace in search of his past, but a much-anticipated, emotional homecoming in Ethiopia reveals more about Gadi’s present: his adopted Israeli identity.
MINYAN IN KAIFENG- Director: Steven Calcote and Jonathan Shulman
USA, 2002, 74 min.
Hebrew and Ahmaric w/subtitles
It was mid-December 1997 when 15 travelers from the Chinese northern capital of Beijing spent a sleepless night journeying by train to the ancient eastern capital of Kaifeng. The pilgrims arrived Friday morning, and began immediately scouring the city, searching for vestiges of an almost forgotten past. Their pains were soon rewarded when they found what they had come looking for – descendants of an 800-year-old Jewish community still residing in Kaifeng. This documentary film begins with interviews of all the pilgrimage members concerning their thoughts and expectations for the trip and videos all their activities: visits to the museum, the Jewish quarter, the services, up to and including the culminating discussion following the trip. Available for purchase from the National Center for Jewish Film, Brandeis University. Send an e-mail to email@example.com to request current price and shipping cost.
OUTCRY- Director: Destau Damotow
Israel 2003, 30 min.
Amharic, Hebrew with English subtitles
Destau Damtou’s docudrama Outcry presents a fascinating insight into a particularly unexplored world, that of the Ethiopian Jewish minority living in Israel. An Ethiopian youth stares at his handgun and contemplates recent events: five of his friends lie dead beside the bodies of four Israeli policemen; a documentary filmmaker attempts to extract personal responses to the tragedy from members of the local Ethiopian and Israeli communities. This fractured narrative is unerringly captured by the young Ethiopian filmmaker.
THE ANGEL LEVINE
Zero Mostel, Harry Belafonte, Ida Kaminska, Milo O’Shea, Gloria Foster
Morris Mishkin is a elderly religious Jew in New York. His wife Fanny is very ill. He’s a tailor, but he can’t work because his back has given out. He doesn’t even have enough money for Fanny’s medicine. Finally, a black fellow appears from nowhere in the Mishkin kitchen. He says he’s an angel from God, sent to help Mishkin. The black angel is even Jewish, named Alex Levine? But will Morris believe in the angel? And can the angel perform the miracle that he promises?
THE JEWISH COMMUNITIES OF KAIFENG & SAN’A
Ergo Media Inc.
The exotic Jewish communities of Kaifeng (China) and San’a (Yemen) are the subject of this fascinating video. Available for purchase from the National Center for Jewish Film, Brandeis University. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to request current price and shipping cost.
SHARI’S PASSOVER SURPRISE / LAMB CHOP’S PASSOVER SPECIAL – Sony USA, 1996, 60 min
This film now comes packaged with Lamb Chop’s Chanukah. In the telling of the story of Passover, an African-American man makes a connection between Passover and slavery.