“Faces” – Jewish Life in the Present
A Film Project at the Rafael Roth Learning Center
The "Faces" interview project consists of film footage in which Jews discuss their lives in Germany today. Their attitudes toward religion, society, home, and family are just as varied as their lifestyles, backgrounds, and age groups.
The first selection of interviews was presented at the Kosher & Co exhibition in autumn 2009. The complete set of interviews can now be viewed at the computer workstations of the Rafael Roth Learning Center.
In the film What Does Kosher Mean for You?, interviewees describe what Jewish dietary laws mean for them today, discussing rituals and traditions, family and friends, and discrimination and exclusion. They address the freedom that comes with foregoing certain foods, as well as the allure of the forbidden. They also touch on organic products and vegetarianism.
Members of a Berlin family discuss the weekly Shabbat and their difficulties finding kosher meat. An important topic for Jews from the former GDR and Eastern Europe is how they rediscovered Jewish traditions following the collapse of Communism in 1989. But other interviewees feel estranged from these traditions.
How can Jews develop and live a Jewish identity in a non-Jewish environment? As one interviewee, Hillel, puts it, "The rules are suggestions… They provide a framework for experimentation."
The interviews document the wide range of Jewish lifestyles today, all presented in a non-linear interactive film. In order to create a form that could connect all this film content, we used the Korsakow System developed by Berlin media artist Florian Thalhofer.