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441. Why The Jews?; movie review

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Title : 441. Why The Jews?; movie review
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Cert TBA
70 mins
BBFC advice: TBA

A few years ago, Mrs W and I took our grown-up children to Krakow where we stayed in the Jewish Quarter.
Our hotel had been the site of a business which was closed by the Nazis who 'relocated' the Jews to the city's ghetto.
An hour's drive from Krakow, we visited the death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau where much of the Final Solution took place.
After such an important but sombre experience, it was uplifting to look around the factory of Oskar Schindler who saved so many Jews.
Obviously, we have watched and read much about the Holocaust but Why The Jews? doesn't deal with it directly.
Instead, it examines why Jewish people are the most successful in the word in myriad disciplines despite making up only 0.2% of the world's population.
John Curtin's film includes interviews with many famous Jews as well as spinning back over 100 years through archive footage.
It asks questions about why Jews have been persecuted and comes up with some interesting conclusions.
I was particularly taken with one by a contributor who had asked how many delegates at a conference had been directly or indirectly affected by The Holocaust.
One put their hand up but he pointed out that if the rest had been touched by diseases such as cancer the question could apply to them because of the numbers of doctors and scientists murdered by the Nazis.
In other words, who knows what discoveries the millions of Jews would have made?
The odds are, because so many were killed, that geniuses would have been among them.
But why have Jewish people always punched above their weight in terms of Nobel prizes and Oscars?  That is a question which Curtin's film comes creditably close to answering in an illuminating documentary.

The 22nd UK International Jewish Film Festival takes place between 8th-22nd November 2018 at cinemas across London, Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow http://ukjewishfilm.org/

Reasons to watch: Illuminating take on Jewish achievemenets
Reasons to avoid: It repeats itself a few too many times

Laughs: None
Jumps: None
Vomit: None
Nudity: None
Overall rating: 8/10

Director quote - John Curtin: "Jewish overachievement was one of the biggest elephants in the room of Western culture that everyone kind of noticed, but no one really wanted to talk about it and I was very curious to find out why Jews have been so successful."

The big question - What will the future hold for Jewish people?

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