Moving Torah Film
Messengers/Messages and Mishkan/Sanctuary are the first Moving Torah films. We have two other pieces awaiting editing, and we plan to create curriculum which use the films to teach text along-side arts-based learning in a variety of settings -- fromelementary school and up. If you are interested in learning more about this pilot project, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!
Writing/Choreography: Andrea Hodos, Direction/Editing: Sarah Feinbloom, Cinematography: Goro Toshima, Set Design: Wanda Peretz. Music: Roni Ishran/Shaharit Ensemble, Basya Schecter/Pharaoh's Daughter. (This video premiered in Sh'ma: a Journal of Jewish Responsibility)
Messengers/Messages is an interpretation of Ya'acov journey using a physical and linguistic exploration of the Torah's repetition of body imagery. As Ya'acov's story develops, his identity – and his anxiety – move from his heel to his head, finally resting in his face. Ya'acov is initially named for his attempt to surpass his brother by grabbing his eikev (heel). As he runs from his brother with purloined birthright and blessing, he has a dream that God will be with him and bless him as the inheritor of Avraham's blessing -- the root "resh-aleph-shin" (head) appears twice on either side of the dream. Twenty-one years later, in his preparation to return to Cana'an, he and the Torah, together, use the shoresh peh-nun (face) five times as he anticipates his reunion with his brother. And although he does come face to face with a divine being and prevails (and earns a new name), he does not look his brother in the face when they finally meet.
What does Jacob’s metaphoric journey through his own body teach us about his character? How does Jacob’s journey reflect our own?
Writing/Choreography: Andrea Hodos, Direction/Editing: Sarah Feinbloom, Cinematography: Goro Toshima, Set Design: Wanda Peretz. Music: Yuval Ron Ensemble, Davka, Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann.
(This video premiered in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal)
Mishkan/Sanctuary is a 3 minute film based on Parashat Terumah. At the beginning of Moses' forty days on the mountain talking with God, the first thing that God says to him is "build a Tabernacle so that I may dwell among them" and then describes, in detail, the gold and precious objects that the Israelites should bring "from their hearts." What follows is even greater detail about how Tabernacle will be built. The questions here are why so much detail? Why so much covering? And what is the relationship between the gold that God wants them to bring and the gold that they put together at the end of Moses' time on the mountain as they form the golden calf? Finally, how are we supposed to know precisely what God wants from us? This piece originally premièred in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal as commentary on the Torah portion, and you can read the accompanying article here.
DIRECTOR/PRODUCER, SARAH FEINBLOOM
Sarah is an award-winning filmmaker whose work includes documentaries, dramatic narratives, and fundraising videos. Her 50-minute documentary What Do You Believe?- the religious and spiritual lives of American teenagers aired on PBS stations across the country and has screened internationally at venues including the Mill Valley Film Festival, the Toronto Children’s Film Festival, the Religion Today Film Festival in Italy, and at conferences including the National Association of Multicultural Educators the American Academy of Religion. It was voted "One of Ten Best Videos for Young Adults in 2003" by the American Library Associations. Sarah has created and led workshops nationally and internationally on interfaith dialogue and religious diversity. Her newest documentary is on youth and forgiveness, learn more about it at www.2forgiveU.com
CINEMATOGRAPHER, GORO TOSHIMA
Goro Toshima is an award winning documentary filmmaker. His film, A Hard Straight, received the jury award for best documentary feature at the South by Southwest and Santa Barbara Film Festivals. In addition to screening at dozens of other festivals, including LA and Chicago, A Hard Straight broadcast nationally on PBS' Emmy award winning series, 'Independent Lens'. The Village Voice called the film 'riveting...an honest and intimate film packed with much needed answers.' Variety said 'it's a dramatic and up-close look at the temptations and frustrations faced by three parolees...It won't be hard for this documentary to gain global festival and tube exposure." His most recent film, Broken Doors, received the International Documentary Association nomination for best documentary short. It also received the jury award for best documentary short at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and New Orleans Int’l Film Festival, and also screened at numerous festivals throughout the U.S. and Europe. As a cinematographer, Goro's work has aired on HBO, PBS, the Sundance Channel and Bravo.
SET DESIGN, WANDA WARBUTON PERETZ
Wanda uses a variety of mediums to express her personal interpretation of Jewish spiritual concepts and rituals. With a background in children’s theater set design, she understands the power of transforming a specific space in order to spark imagination and enhance the experience of an audience. Her textile wall-hangings, Torah mantles, amud covers, and murals are featured in synagogues and religious schools throughout California.