Monday, July 12, 2010
Jerusalem Film Festival
On Thursday evening I again attended the opening of the Jerusalem Film Festival. It is one of my favorite summer activities here in Jerusalem. This year a French film, "La Rafle--The Round Up" opened the festival. The film stars Jean Reno who was present to open the festival. David Broza, the Israeli folk singer, also appeared to open the event with a few songs. The movie tells the story of the round up of Parisian Jews during the summer of 1942, through the lens of a few families and in particular their children. The film is not an extraordinary work of art, but the film and experience were extraordinary nonetheless. This French Jewish film shows the active participation of French leaders and officials in the Nazi genocide. It accurately portrays them as active decision makers, not forced accomplices. It is most important that this have the widest viewing in France. Even more remarkable was the experience of watching this film in Sultan's Pool, the ancient, outdoor amphitheater outside the Old City's walls. Along with hundreds of Israelis I watched this movie. Nearly everyone wanted to scream, "How could these French Jews not realize what was about to happen?" We cried together (for almost all of the concluding thirty minutes) and then left the theater in near silence. With hundreds of fellow Jews I watched this film in a sovereign Jewish state! Amen!