Blacks and Jews (1997)

Genres - Culture & Society, History  |   Sub-Genres - Biography, Race & Ethnicity, Social History, Social Issues  |   Run Time - 85 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This insightful documentary is comprised five segments, each representing a case from 20th century history in which Jewish people and African Americans work together. The cases are pieced together via interviews with leaders from both groups, scholars and with archival footage. The first story is set in 1991 and looks at the friendship that develops between a Hassidic Jew and a West Indian following the riots at Crown Heights and how their mutual feelings about human nature help them overcome their other differences. The segment also deals with mutual efforts from both sides to help their young people. The second chapter centers on Rabbi Robert Marx, who spearheaded an attempt to keep real estate agencies from keeping blacks out of largely Jewish neighborhoods in Chicago during the '60s. The third case profiles Salim Muwakkil and follows his life as he changes from active member of the Nation of Islam to a newspaper columnist with a strong message against continued anti-Semitism. The fourth episode is set in Hollywood and examines the myth of Jewish control of the industry. The final chapter examines the ways in which media hype attempted to make a national scandal out of a small incident from Oakland, California in which black and Latino students attending a screening of Schindler's List as a field trip were ejected from the theater for making noise during an execution scene. The press tried to intimate deeper, anti-Jewish significance to the occurrence, but subsequent interviews revealed it was all a matter of misunderstanding on the part of the involved parties.



activism, African-American, anti-Semitism, archival-footage, cross-cultural-relations, friendship, gentrification, Hassidic, Hollywood, Jewish, media, misunderstanding, myth, Rabbi, riot [uprising], scandal, stereotype, understanding