Just like you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy a good bowl of matzo ball soup, you don’t have to be Jewish to appreciate the art, drama, romance, comedy, and history packed into the Nashville Jewish Film Festival (NJFF). The NJFF is a six-day immersion in the portrayal of Jewish experience—educating through the art of filmmaking. What emerges from viewing these films is an understanding of the human connection that underlies all our unique stories.
“I hope people will leave the theater thinking about the enormous value of seeing their lives as connected to the lives of others, and being willing to do something about it,” said Michael Goldman, co-director of At Home in Utopia. His documentary depicts the thousands of Jewish immigrant workers in the Bronx in the 1920s who pulled themselves out of their urban slums and ghettos by pooling their resources and building cooperatively owned apartments known as “the Coops” (the United Workers Cooperative Colony). At the heart of this story is the struggle for human justice and racial equality.
In all, there were 13 films from several different countries, many of them award winners. This was the ninth and largest Nashville Jewish Film Festival to date. Co-director Laurie Eskind hoped that “the selection and range of films shown exemplifies the festival’s commitment to Nashville’s art scene and support of the art of filmmaking.”