Doing Jewish: A Story from Ghana

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Doing Jewish: A Story from Ghana


Thursday Mar 15 07:30 PM
Friday Mar 16 01:00 PM


Doris Duke Theatre


Museum members: $10.00
General Admission: $12.00


About the Film:

Part of the Honolulu Jewish Film Festival 2018.

Directed by Gabrielle Zilkha. 2016. Canada / Ghana. 80 min.
Gabrielle Zilkha was in the middle of a six-month volunteer stint with a women’s rights group  in Ghana, in West Africa, when the Jewish New Year came along. She missed the family holiday gatherings back home in Montreal. So she looked for a synagogue. And to her surprise, she found one.

Made over the course of five years, Doing Jewish: A Story from Ghana is an exploration of the background and day to day lives of the Jews of Sewfi Wiawso. In the remote region, a group of people, dedicated and devout, have practiced special rites, including circumcision and keeping Kosher dietary laws, for centuries. Only recently had they discovered they were part of a worldwide religion with millions of followers—Judaism.

The documentary reveals the importance of connections, as we see the Sefwis try to reach out to other Jews worldwide and witness their ongoing struggle for acceptance and growth. Their leader, Alex Armah, tells us his dream is to see his congregation achieve official status, and to know and understand their history. But what is their history? Could they be descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel?

The visible affection between the filmmaker and the Sefwi shines as an unspoken part of the story. This is a fascinating study of Judaism and belonging.

​Thursday, March 15 at 7:30pm: The film will be introduced by independent filmmaker Marlene Booth.

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