Every now and again Hollywood tries to guess why Jewish movies are so popular. So far, movies about Jews have received numerous awards, were nominated for the Oscars or broke box-office records all over the world. Why? Apparently, everyone knows why.
The answer is simple: because Jews tell the truth! But what do they say about it? About themselves, of course! And that's the point - it's not only that people like to watch films about themselves; all moviegoers like dramatic stories with interesting characters who go through inner transformations (the essence of cinema). What distinguishes Jewish characters from all other heroes is that they fulfill their destinies thanks to their talent and abilities. That makes them even more respectable in an increasingly complex world.
Those who watch such movies as Schindler's List or Life is Beautiful (which won three Oscars that year), don't leave the hall trying to find out where those people live, what they eat and how their houses look like. The second part of the film doesn't show you those details either. It draws no distinction between Jews and non-Jews living in Israel and abroad: both kinds of heroes face exactly the same problems and obstacles on their way to success.
And it should be noted that there are certain exceptions among other Jewish genres too, for example comedies about young Jews from New York City which came up with a new definition of a Jew - "a guy who knows he can get further with a smile than others could with a thousand speeches".
All Jewish movies share the same unique features: they tell stories about Jews, their world and mentality (which is depicted in a way appealing to wide audiences), heroes are often optimistic characters who know how to make the best of whatever situation they face; they can always find an inner strength to help themselves.
The explanation for this phenomenon lies in history which has molded Judaism into something that differs from other religions. It was exile that made Jews different even though nowadays there are people of Jewish descent or faith all over the world. The realities of life have created some kind of "uniqueness" - everything related to us triggers specific associations in people's minds, thus making Jews more interesting than any other group…
The Toronto Jewish Film Festival is the largest film festival of its kind in North America. It’s packed with films that are entertaining, engaging and make you laugh. You won’t find another event like it on the market today. It’s not just an amazing experience but also an incredible opportunity to see great films from around the world. It doesn't matter if you're not Jewish or even religious - there's something here for everyone. Their films are entertaining and engaging enough to be enjoyed by anyone who loves great cinema. They'll make you laugh, cry, think...and maybe even want to learn more about Judaism along the way! Come see why we've been called "the best little film festival in North America".
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On the one hand, Jewish cinema is a powerful media instrument in mass culture today, and its impact on the younger generations, especially via the Internet, is undeniable. But it's also true that we can hardly speak of an independent cultural phenomenon: Jews in general play a leading role in the film industry and there are "Jewish movies" with plots focusing on non-Jews or involving different kinds of heroes; however, they don't receive nearly as much attention from audiences worldwide - their target group is way narrower.
One thing remains certain: Jewish films will endure because people like to watch stories about themselves (even if they're not actually about them). This explains why such films enjoy such popularity. And this trend seems here to stay.