Mount Holyoke will be part of the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival again this year. The festival, which will screen approximately 30 films at sites around the Valley, including Amherst Cinema and the Five Colleges, will take place March 23-April 17.
"We are delighted to participate once again in the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival by hosting two films," said Larry Fine, Irene Kaplan Leiwant Professor of Jewish Studies and chair of Jewish studies. "This is now one of the largest such festivals in New England, and one of the largest Jewish film festivals in the country, filled with the very best new films of Jewish interest. Everyone is invited."
The films to be shown at Mount Holyoke both involve the Jewish communities of Latin America. My Mexican Shivah will be shown Monday, March 31, at 7:30 pm in Blanchard Campus Center. The film is based on a story by Amherst College professor Ilan Stavans, who will participate in a discussion of the film that evening. Set in the Jewish Quarter of Mexico City against a rich tapestry of Spanish, Yiddish, and Hebrew, it is a dramatic comedy about how the death of a man results in the celebration of his life. The film was produced by John Sayles and features an original score by The Klezmatics.
The Longing: The Forgotten Jews of South America will air Sunday, April 6, at 7 pm in Dwight 101. The film examines a small group of South Americans who believe they are among the millions of South Americans descended from crypto-Jews, the Spanish and Portuguese immigrants who secretly practiced Judaism during the Inquisition. Director Gabriela Bohm portrays the search for identity by these people, who have been raised in Catholic countries against a background of persistent but vague hints about their ancestry.
The College's Jewish Studies Program and Jewish Student Union are sponsoring the film festival. The Latin American Studies Program is a cosponsor of the festival. The film showings are free for Five College students and open to the Mount Holyoke community. Admission for the general public is $8.