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Punk Jews - sneak preview

Last night we saw a sneak preview of a new film, Punk Jews at the MFA. It was part of the film series from the National Center for Jewish Film.

Adapting a wonderfully expansive view of the concept "punk Jew" the film featured some wonderful montages, including Gay Pride events in Israel, and also included six more focused clips ranging from "Moshiach Oi," a one band that fits the more traditional hardcore definition of "punk," (but also making the connection to outliers as we realize that bandmembers are also enthusiastic follows of Reb Nahman of Breslov), to many of our friends playing at a fringe Jewish NYC gathering called "cholent," to a segment on child abuse in the Shver UltraOrthodox community in upstate New York. Other segments included Amy the Yoga Yenta, a segment featuring Y-Love and African-American Jews, and my favorite, a closing segment featuring Jenny Romaine's "Sukkos Mob," a wonderful troupe that takes to NYC's streets during Sukkos each year. If the Boston Jewish Music Festival folks are really on their toes (something I think we can take for a given), they'll find a way to bring the Sukkos Mob to Boston next year. Imagine Yiddish street theatre in Coolidge Corner or Harvard Square! (Of course, how this would happen given the mob's post-Sukkos commitments and the fact that they are pretty committed to being in NYC for the holiday, I dunno.)

The Q&A session revealed that much of the audience identified strongly with the film's themes—a surprising number of people are really Punk Jews, or have websites connecting Punks to mainstream Jews. We are all outliers. We are all, apparently, punks.

It's a very good film. Eventually it will be released and readers of this site should make a point of seeing it. You can find out more at punkjews.com.