Can film help create acceptance and tolerance?
By Tara FitzGerald Original Print Publication: April, 2009
Cinco Días Sin Nora (feature film, due for commercial release this year) 2008
Morirse Está En Hebreo (feature film) 2007
Ocho Candelas (documentary about Jewish converts) 2002
Un Beso a Esta Tierra (immigration documentary) 1996
Novio Que Te Vea (feature film) 1994
El Brindis (feature film, Mexican-Chilean co-production) 2007
Jewish Film Festival
This annual festival aims to expose the diversity of Jewish life to Mexican audiences through documentary, fiction, and short films from Israel, the US, and other countries.
Small as the Mexican-Jewish community is, Mexican-Jewish film production is even smaller. But filmmakers believe that those Jewish films that are being made -- seven to date -- are helping to create understanding and acceptance byopening a window on to what has typically been an insular community.
Filmmakers say Jewish films are opening a window onto a traditionally insular community.
"Many different minority groups live in Mexico but they don't know eachvother very well. We want to create a country that is more open, more tolerant,"says Aron Margolis, a Mexican who studied film in California and director ofMexico's International Jewish Film Festival.
The Jewish Film Festival, which showcases movies with Jewish themes from around the world, celebrates its seventh year in 2009 and will run from October22 to December 2, starting in Mexico City and then moving on to Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Cancún.
"I think film is a very powerful medium in the way that it can movepeople and teach them about worlds that are unknown to them," Margolis says."There are lots of prejudices in Mexico about the Jewish community, and the festival allows people to see that being Jewish is not something black and white, that there are shades of grey."
"The festival allows us to invite the Mexican community into our homes and allows them to get to know our families," he continues, pointing out that the festival audience is only around 50% Jewish, indicating much wider interest than simply from within Mexico's Jewish community.