Being Jewish in France | Chicago Reader

Being Jewish in France

Richly detailed and highly absorbing, this colorful 2007 documentary opens with the 1906 resolution of the infamous Dreyfus Affair, marking the end of a 12-year period during which French Jews, largely acculturated since the mid-1800s, endured an outbreak of virulent anti-Semitism. Director Yves Jeuland delivers an epic history of Gallic Jews, from the patriots who fought in the First World War to the tens of thousands deported by Vichy during the Second, on through to the present, when many consider emigrating to Israel. The wide-ranging contributions of French Jewry are recounted by leaders in politics and the arts, some of whom--like historian Annette Wieviorka--are charmingly candid in their reminiscences of the primarily Ashkenazic community's postwar culture shock over their new neighbors, masses of Sephardic Jews from France's former North African colonies. Mathieu Almaric narrates. In French with subtitles. 185 min.

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