Who is Jonathan Chisdes?
What is a “Jewish” film?
However, for the purposes of this website, I want to define “Jewish film” as broadly as possible. So for me, it’s any movie which may be of interest to Jews. This includes all movies with Jewish themes and Jewish characters. They don’t necessarily have to be traditional themes; in fact, I embrace films that struggle against Jewish tradition.
I include all Israeli films, even those which do not deal directly with Jewish religion or culture. Since Israel is a Jewish state and its culture should be of interest to all Jews, anything that reflects that culture is, by my definition, Jewish.
I will even go so far as to include films which do not directly deal with Jewish issues or have any Jewish characters if they at least possess themes which reflect the Jewish experience. For example, films that deal with African-American slavery, or Civil Rights, are films in which Jews can recognize their own struggle against Egyptian slavery or anti-Semitism, on a metaphorical level.
I also include the exact opposite of Jewish films—anti-Semitic films such as Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” or certain versions of “The Merchant of Venice.” Although they are offensive to Jews, they are films that I believe the Jewish community must take an interest in, if for no other reason to help understand our world and the forces of those who seek to injure us.
So basically, as I said, it comes down to the simple definition of any movie which should interest the Jewish community.
Where can I learn more about Jewish film?
Where can I see Jewish films?
Also, keep abreast of Jewish film festivals. In the US, the two biggest are the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival and the New York Jewish Film Festival. Most major cities, and even some rather small ones, have their own festivals. Click here for a list of Jewish film festivals; more are continually being added, so check back frequently if you don’t yet see your home town listed.
Why a website dedicated to Jewish Film Reviews? What good does it do anyone?
Why are there reviews of so many non-Jewish films in the archives?
Why should I subscribe to Chizfilm Jewish Movie Reviews?
For me, it helps to have an idea of how many people out there are interested and reading my reviews. It gives me more direct contact with you, my readers.
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