Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Movie tracks anti-Semitism in France

Taken from Greenwich Times

The Greenwich JCC will screen '24 Days,' a film that sparked a national debate about anti-Semitism in France, in Greenwich Monday.

The movie “24 Days” was set in 2006, but Pam Ehrenkranz, CEO of the Greenwich Jewish Community Center, said it continues to be relevant.

“Until you feel something, identify with someone, it’s just a news story, it’s just a piece of history. I think the movie sensitizes us to the fact that when there are incidents like this, we need to respond quickly and to take it seriously,” Ehrenkranz said.

The Greenwich JCC plans to screen the movie at 7 p.m. Monday at Bow-Tie Criterion Cinemas, 2 Railroad Ave. Tickets cost $12.

In “24 Days,” a Jewish cellphone vendor is kidnapped and eventually murdered. The movie is based on a memoir written by Ruth Halimi, and recounts the true story of the death of her son, Ilan Halimi. His murder was largely considered an anti-Semitic hate crime and sparked a national debate about anti-Semitism in France.

“I think that when hatred and racism occur in your community, the community has to respond. … All of a sudden everyone is a victim. When people who pray get killed in a church, targeted because of their race, I don’t have the right to say to myself that could never be me,” Ehrenkranz said, referring to the recent killings of nine members of a black church in Charleston, S.C.

“I think we see lone incidents of hatred or racism, as we have seen in our country very recently, and we think it’s an isolated incident and we don’t do anything. We don’t respond with as much force or as loudly as we can,” Ehrenkranz said.

“If we look back at that incident in 2006 and added up all the anti-Semitic incidents since then in France, we have to ask ourselves, could we have been more vigilant? Is there something we could have done?” she said.

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