Expulsion as told by Rachel

 


This clip is an excerpt from the film "Turkey's Sephardim: 500 Years."

Turkey's Sephardim: 500 Years is a 65 minute, color film which tells the story of Turkey's Sephardic Jews as they are today against a background of 500 Years of uninterrupted existence on the lands of the Ottoman Empire - ever since 1492- the year when they were uprooted from the Iberian peninsula by order of expulsion…

Laurence Salzmann, accompanied by his Turkish wife Ayse made many trips to discover and record the Jewish past in Turkey. But what they found most exciting were the Jewish and Turkish people they met, their tales, their songs, their jokes about themselves and each other…

"meeting Bulisa, the widow of the grain merchant Karaoglan in her village… sharing her excitement as she took them through the unpaved roads to the old synagogue (now a granary)… it seemed like the 100 year old reading desk was suddenly transformed to its original state… reminiscing about her almond candies, and how the neighbor's sons enjoyed eating them…"

Then, there is the legacy of the successful American tobacco merchant, Morris Sinasi, whose roots go back to a modest existence in Manisa. One see many a contrasting image of the traditional and the modern, the hub of urban life blending with intimacies of domestic existence. The viewer is gently led to discover the daily rituals of Turkish-Jewish life.

Over and over again, the film weaves together images ordinary people as well as the spiritual leaders - the schoolchildren, the housewife, the small tradesman, the businessmen - to create the portrait of a community whose strength an color derives from its multicultural heritage: the film moves like the half-heard wail of a müezzin gradually transforming into full orchestral crescendo…

Turkey's Sephardim: 500 Years is $30.00 with free shipping.

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