Saturday, April 20, 2013

Stripping Down the Stereotype of 'The Wealthy Jew'

The tagline for the Toronto Jewish Film Festival is pretty cheeky: 'Film. It's What Jews Do Best.' But on Sunday, April 21st, that will be trumped by the title of one the event's 2013 entries.

After screening in the U.S. for the past few months, Jews and Money finally shows in Montreal-born director Lewis Cohen's home-country of Canada tomorrow night at 5:15 p.m. (with the filmmaker in attendance). The movie uses as its starting point the horrific 2006 Paris kidnapping, torture and murder of cell phone salesman Ilan Halimi, and the admission by the leader of the gang responsible for these heinous acts that the 23-year-old victim was targeted because "all Jews are rich."

Among the experts interviewed in the film is University of Toronto professor Derek Penslar. Cohen's film was most recently screened Wednesday at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center, prompting a nice write-up in New York's The Jewish Daily Forward:

Cohen mentioned [during the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival Q&A] that it was difficult to get the Parisian Jewish community to open up to him. He also said that the only reason a couple of young men from the housing projects would agree to speak to him on film was because he wasn’t from the French media.
The filmmaker clearly prevailed against such challenges, creating a complex yet cohesive narrative. Even those already familiar with the Halimi case and with the history of anti-Semitism come away emotionally rattled by how Cohen managed to put it all together.

Following this weekend's Toronto debut, Jews and Money is scheduled to be shown on Canadian television.

[Jews and Money]

No comments:

Post a Comment