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After the infamous 9/11 attacks of 2001, there came a virulent resurgence of antisemitism reemerging in America convinced that the Jews were responsible for the terrorism. Feeding this is the repeatedly debunked book libel, Protocols of the Elders of Zion and its disguised adaptations. Director Marc Levin goes on a journey to interview the promoters of this kind of hate in all its forms. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
One of the subjects from Trembling Before G-d (2001), another American documentary concerning contemporary Jewish issues, can be seen briefly in the anti-war protest. See more »
When Marc Levin is walking up a gravel road with a white supremacist leader, the shots from behind show them passing several parked cars as they are engaged in conversation. Shots of them from the front, however, do not include these cars. In addition, the shots from behind show the two persons approaching the same cars several times. See more »
The Protocols was obviously a very personal project for Levin, his chance to get at the eternal question: why always the Jews? It was inspired by a single conversation the filmmaker had with an Arab cabdriver who was convinced that Israel was behind the 9-11 attacks. How did the cab driver know this? Because he had read it in the book "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion."
The century-old book purports to be the minutes of a secret meeting of Jewish leaders in which they lay out their plans for world domination. In fact, it's a fraud; most of the book was plagiarized from earlier works of fiction. Mainstream western society declared it out-of-bounds over 80 years ago. Yet as Levin documents the book remains remarkably popular both on the fringes of American society and throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds.
Levin tries to get to the bottom of this by interviewing neo-Nazis, Palestinians, radical black activists, conspiracy theorists, Christian evangelical leaders and various Jews. The most fascinating and disturbing bits are clips from Arab TV shows which dramatize the Protocols as if they were historical fact.
He never quite gets to the bottom of it -- he's not exactly the most probing of interviewers -- but the results are never less than fascinating. He deserves enormous credit for his bravery in talking to many of these people as well as his willingness to explore the "don't go there" areas of Jewish conspiracy myths. Watch it with some friends then go to a coffee shop and have a good discussion.
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