Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
This documentary offers a look into Carlton, a small town located inside urban Melbourne, Australia. In the 19th century, it was a destination of choice for more-or-less assimilated Ashkenazi English Jews, who preferred to be called "Israelites," or "Hebrews." When Sephardic Jews from Eastern Europe settled there after World War II, the local English Ashkenazim were repelled by their alien ways. While this particular conflict is a theme which has been repeated all over the world, the Australian encounter documented here seems to be among the more recent and pointed examples. Carlton has become an upscale, racially mixed neighborhood, but remaining members of its former Jewish majority are able to tell the tale of the community's cultural history. As the interviews proceed, it becomes clear that unlike their recent forbears who lived during Carlton's heyday, modern Australian Jews are having a hard time maintaining a distinct cultural identity.
Australia, cultural-identity, culture-clash, Jewish, neighborhood, relocation, immigration