Miriam Cutler

The Longing Forgotten Jews of South America

2007
The Longing

Project Details

Released 2007
Production Company Bohm Productions/directed by Gabriela Bohm
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Project Details

Synopsis


THE LONGING: THE FORGOTTEN JEWS OF SOUTH AMERICA is about connecting with ancestors and reclaiming faith. Against all odds, a small group of South Americans long to affirm their faith. Isolated in Catholic countries, rejected by local Jewish Communities, they battle to become Jews regardless of the consequences. Set in Ecuador, this film tells the story of their attempt to regain their birthright.  The group is comprised of a doctor and his wife from a small town in Ecuador and three women from Ibagué, Colombia (including a mother and daughter), who make the 36-hour, one-way trip by bus.  The film begins with their yearning, explaining their connection to Judaism and why their desire to convert is so strong.


Visit THE LONGING on Facebook


Credits


Bohm Productions


Produced and Directed by Gabriela Bohm


Co-Edited by Jonathan Brock


Original Music by Miriam Cutler


 


Awards & Festivals



World Premier – NY Jewish film festival, January 2007


Winner, Best Documentary, Long Island Latino Film Festival


Winner, Best Documentary, Orlando Hispanic Film Festival


Winner, Best Latino Film, Santa Fe Film Festival


Winner, Telly Award Religion Spirituality, 2009


Reviews


The Longing:  The Forgotten Jews of South America
Review Summary:


"Imagine a thread of ancestry so tenuous that one’s ethno-cultural heritage feels, at times, almost unverifiable, perhaps nothing more than an instinct.  Such is the plight of the “crypto-Jews” of South America.  For centuries their Hebrew beliefs and cultural identification lay cloaked in the shadow of denial and repression – thanks to Catholic cultures (and a torturous Inquisition) that encouraged the near-complete erasure of Jewish identity.  Because of the historical circumstances, the size of the particular populace is impossible to determine with great exactitude, but some estimate that South American crypto-Jews number into the millions.  Now, anumber o these men and women cling desperately to a desire to realize the full extent of their commin heritage by connecting with a larger Judaic body and a more concrete Judaic heritage.  With her documentary The Longing:  The Forgotten Jews of South America, writer – Gabriela Bohm hones in on six such individuals, including a physician, a microbiologist, a mother and daughter, desperate to affirm their Judaic identities by undergoing a formalized spiritual conversion process.  Bohm’s film witnesses the realization of this goal as her subjects reconnect, through the wonder of the internet, with a reformed rabbi from Kansas City; during the process they experience the shared wonder of a newly-found (and affirmed) culture and lineage, but must ask themselves serious and difficult questions about the acceptance or lack thereof that they will receive from the more widely-seen Jewish body." ~ -Nathan Southern, All Movie Guide, NY Times

Project Details

Synopsis


THE LONGING: THE FORGOTTEN JEWS OF SOUTH AMERICA is about connecting with ancestors and reclaiming faith. Against all odds, a small group of South Americans long to affirm their faith. Isolated in Catholic countries, rejected by local Jewish Communities, they battle to become Jews regardless of the consequences. Set in Ecuador, this film tells the story of their attempt to regain their birthright.  The group is comprised of a doctor and his wife from a small town in Ecuador and three women from Ibagué, Colombia (including a mother and daughter), who make the 36-hour, one-way trip by bus.  The film begins with their yearning, explaining their connection to Judaism and why their desire to convert is so strong.


Visit THE LONGING on Facebook


Credits


Bohm Productions


Produced and Directed by Gabriela Bohm


Co-Edited by Jonathan Brock


Original Music by Miriam Cutler


 


Awards & Festivals



World Premier – NY Jewish film festival, January 2007


Winner, Best Documentary, Long Island Latino Film Festival


Winner, Best Documentary, Orlando Hispanic Film Festival


Winner, Best Latino Film, Santa Fe Film Festival


Winner, Telly Award Religion Spirituality, 2009


Reviews


The Longing:  The Forgotten Jews of South America
Review Summary:


"Imagine a thread of ancestry so tenuous that one’s ethno-cultural heritage feels, at times, almost unverifiable, perhaps nothing more than an instinct.  Such is the plight of the “crypto-Jews” of South America.  For centuries their Hebrew beliefs and cultural identification lay cloaked in the shadow of denial and repression – thanks to Catholic cultures (and a torturous Inquisition) that encouraged the near-complete erasure of Jewish identity.  Because of the historical circumstances, the size of the particular populace is impossible to determine with great exactitude, but some estimate that South American crypto-Jews number into the millions.  Now, anumber o these men and women cling desperately to a desire to realize the full extent of their commin heritage by connecting with a larger Judaic body and a more concrete Judaic heritage.  With her documentary The Longing:  The Forgotten Jews of South America, writer – Gabriela Bohm hones in on six such individuals, including a physician, a microbiologist, a mother and daughter, desperate to affirm their Judaic identities by undergoing a formalized spiritual conversion process.  Bohm’s film witnesses the realization of this goal as her subjects reconnect, through the wonder of the internet, with a reformed rabbi from Kansas City; during the process they experience the shared wonder of a newly-found (and affirmed) culture and lineage, but must ask themselves serious and difficult questions about the acceptance or lack thereof that they will receive from the more widely-seen Jewish body." ~ -Nathan Southern, All Movie Guide, NY Times

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