In Search of the Bene Israel
The story of filmmaker Sadia Shepard’s quest to reconnect with her maternal grandmother’s Bene Israel community of Western India, In Search of the Bene Israel follows a group of 3500 Jews in and around Bombay which believes that it was shipwrecked in India 2000 years ago and is in the process of a community-wide migration to Israel.
In this moving journey, we meet members of the community struggling with the difficult decision of whether to stay in India or join the world’s Jews in Israel.
Through intimate interviews and observational footage, we come to know a family who takes care of a rural synagogue, a Jewish Indian filmmaker working in Bollywood, and a young couple on the eve of their marriage and departure for Israel.
16mm, Super 8mm and Digital Video / Color & B/W, 38 minutes / 2008
Director/Producer Sadia Shepard
Editor Purcell Carson
Additional Editor Andreas Burgess
Camera Cassim Shepard, Sadia Shepard
Audio Post Production Paul Bercovitch
Original Score Composed and Performed by Marla Hansen