2015-16 Series: Sephardic Identities on Screen
The term "Sephardic" commonly refers to the descendants of the Iberian Jews who were expelled from Spain and Portugal (known in Hebrew as sepharad) after 1492. In this “Diaspora within the Diaspora,” Sephardic Jews came into contact with cultures and languages from Northern and Southern Europe, the Balkans, and especially from the Ottoman Empire—in North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean—where their communities flourished for centuries. A truly global network of exchanges of ideas, trade routes, religious experiences and cultural turns, the Sephardic world reflects modernity in its achievements, questions, and contradictions.
On screen, the complexity and ambiguity of Sephardic identities are represented in relation to several recurrent themes. Documentaries and feature films investigate and portray persecution and exile at the hands of the Spanish Inquisition; the encounters and clashes between “East” and “West” (Ottoman, Arab-Andalusian, and European cultures); the Holocaust as a global phenomenon not solely concerning Eastern Europe and Ashkenazi Jews; the perseverance of cultural identity through the Judeo-Spanish (or Ladino) language that most characterizes Sephardic culture; and the re-imagining of the Sephardic cultural past through music and poetry.
All screenings are at The Magnes, 2121 Allston Way
Tuesdays | 7 pm
Free and open to the public