Between Two Worlds
(70 minutes) Israel/Palestine/USA
Directors/Producers: Alan Snitow, Deborah Kaufman
Between Two Worlds is a personal essay film telling five riveting stories that go beyond political postures to reveal the passionate debates over identity and generational change inside today’s American Jewish community. An incident at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival rips the local Jewish community apart with charges of anti-Semitism and self-hatred, McCarthyism and witch-hunts. Who is entitled to speak for a polarized Jewish community? The debate over ethnic and religious continuity threatens to widen the generational divide. Massive efforts are made to increase the Jewish birth rate and stop intermarriage, but young Jews choose new, hybrid and re-invented Jewish identities despite the outcry of traditionalists. America’s leading Holocaust center starts to build a tolerance museum in Jerusalem––on a famous Muslim cemetery––and sparks a debate over the meaning and uses of history. The film explores why American Jews have been on the left of the political spectrum and weigh in on whether it’s intrinsic in Judaism itself or explained by historical circumstances. Israeli politics divide Jews in America and in Israel. A younger generation of American Jews raised with liberal values is alienated by Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands. What happens when Jews are torn between their support for the state of Israel and their anger at Israel’s violation of basic American Jewish ideals?
Directors Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman are award-winning documentary filmmakers whose works include Blacks and Jews, Secrets of Silicon Valley, and Thirst. Their films have been featured at the Sundance, Jerusalem, and many Jewish film festivals, and aired on POV and Independent Lens series. Their work has been featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and CNN, and has received support from the Ford, Rockefeller, Cummings and MacArthur foundations. Their films have been used by activists and opinion leaders around the world and have been translated into over fifteen languages and broadcast internationally. The New Yorker has said “Snitow and Kaufman bring a fair-minded skepticism to everything they film.”
Web site: www.btwthemovie.org