Jewish students and people interested in Judaism and Jewish culture came together to share common cultures through a variety of films during the first Hillel Film Festival at 10 p.m. from Oct. 21 to Oct. 24 at Theater 212.
The event was started when a few members of Hillel, a Jewish club on campus, came up with a list of Jewish culture-related movies, said Jake Huberman, visiting assistant professor of communications and Hillel adviser.
“Movies are about humans; movies are about life, and so is Judaism,” Huberman said.
“So it’s a good fit and it’s a chance to sit down with friends and to meet new people.”
The films shown each night were “The Ten Commandments,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Beaufort” and “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan,” respectively.
“The Ten Commandments” is a 1956 religious historical film with seven Academy Awards nominations.
It depicts the biblical story of Moses.
“Fiddler on the Roof” is a three-time Academy Award winning musical film made in 1971 about a Jewish family and the trials and tribulations that come with living in Tsarist Russia.
The 2007 war film “Beaufort” was also nominated for an Academy Award and it is about the end of the South Lebanon conflict.
“You Don’t Mess with the Zohan” is more light-hearted, a 2008 comedy about an Israeli army commando who fakes his death to become a hairstylist.
“I actually really wanted to see this movie (‘Beaufort’) because I found out what it was about and it’s about Israel,” said freshman criminology major Austin Chavira.
“I really like Israel so it sounded interesting,” Chavira said.
Many Hillel members have also not seen the films before.
Junior TV broadcasting major and Hillel vice president Carissa Miranda was watching “Beaufort,” for the first time.
She liked that it is a realistic war movie, a different dynamic from the other films.
“I like that we went chronologically with the movies and started with ‘The Ten Commandments,’ an older film, so it’s fun to see the progressive of things,” Miranda said.
“It’s a fun event. It’s pretty low key and people get to see our culture. I think it’s a good idea. Hopefully it’ll get better and we can do it again next year.”
Although the event had small audiences, they were still able to have in-depth discussions at the end of the movie on each night.
“My favorite part would be talking during the Q & A session since it brings our personal reflection of the films,” said senior theater and philosophy major and Hillel president Alon Dina.
“I think that film is a great way to express and transcend an idea to an audience,” Dina said.
“I really like how people have been moved by the few films we have shown so far and we have been able to talk about themes that overlay the films and relate to everyday life.”
Cody Luk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.