The most amazing 18 minutes I've seen in a long, long time!
This is a brilliant film--start to finish. I have never seen a film so completely explain what it is to be Jewish and in such an entertaining and succinct manner. For Jews and non-Jews alike, it is a must-see.
The film in narrated by Peter Coyote and begins with an amazingly well made discussion of the planet in microcosm. Instead of a planet of about 6 billion, if we were a single tribe of only 100 people, what would it look like? The numbers of Asians, Americans, etc. are discussed as well as the reality that only 1/4 of one of these individuals could be Jewish in any way--in other words, only one person in 400. Then, in an odd leap, the film begins talking about the Barbi doll and how it actually is a metaphor for Jewish assimilation and those who deny their Jewish heritage or at least try very hard to fit in to the greater society. The film then discusses the Diasphora, the Holocaust and many other issues relating to Judaism--including its history. All this information is done in only 18 minutes--and in a way that very effectively uses a variety of film techniques and keeps your attention from start to finish.
As a world history teacher, I'd love to show this to my students, as we study many religions throughout the year. Sadly, the short film and curriculum guide cost $300. I can understand that the film makers need to make money, but in some ways this is an opportunity lost. Had the film been made more available, I think a lot of students could learn some very positive things about this often maligned group and spurred on some amazing discussions. Still, if you get a chance, see it online at the YouTube screening room.
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