Toronto, Sarcelles to Sodom: Cinema of the Arab Jewish Diaspora
Stephanie Tara Schwartz
Université de Québec à Montréal and Interactive Museum of Jewish Montreal
How do films of the Jewish diaspora contemplate the problematic of Arab Jews? Karin Albou’s La Petite Jérusalem (France, 2005) and b.h. Yael’s Fresh Blood: A Consideration of Belonging (Canada, 1996) use imaginative geography to explore and challenge notions of Jewish identity that rely on the binaries of Arab/Jew and Israel/diaspora. This essay close-reads scenes in which Arabness is (re)mapped onto the terrain of Jewish identity and examines how these diasporic subjectivities deconstruct homogenous Jewish spaces in Sarcelles, a banlieue of Paris and in Israel’s Negev desert/Sodom. It argues that Jewish identity is better interpreted as a rhizome, or complex system that has a critical difference as its core.
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© borderlands ejournal 2013