Belz Museum Features Frédéric Brenner Photographs
and Special Movie Screening in Honor of
Jewish American Heritage Month
Memphis, Tennessee April 27, 2010---Belz Museum of Asian & Judaic Art will feature 27 photographs by world-renowned photographer Frédéric Brenner during the month of May. The photographs, taken in black and white, are part of the museum's permanent collection of Judaic art and were acquired by the museum in 2003. In addition to featuring photographs, the museum will host a special screening of the film The Last Marranos.
For nearly twenty-five years, Frederic Brenner traveled the world to document the lives of Jews on five continents, creating the first exhaustive visual anthology of the Jewish Diaspora. More than 140 of his most compelling photographs were presented originally as The Jewish Journey: Frédéric Brenner’s Photographic Odyssey at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 2003. Coinciding with the exhibition’s opening was the release of the two-volume book Diaspora: Homelands in Exile. The book reflected Brenner’s creative journey to document the Jewish Diaspora. Visiting more than forty countries, he photographed unforgettable images reflecting the diversity of the Jewish experience in the Diaspora.
“We could think of no other exhibit or objects, in our permanent collection or otherwise, which would exemplify the Jewish experience and serve to honor Jewish American Heritage Month better. Brenner features, in his photographs and his films, not only American Jews, but he has documented the Jewish experience all over the world” said Noelle Cross, research assistant for the museum.
The film The Last Marranos or Les derniers Marranes (France, 1991, 64 minutes, color. Portuguese with English subtitles.) was directed by Fredeior Brenner and Stan Neumann and was released in 1991.The Last Marranos takes a fascinating look at the village of Belmont, Portugal. In 1497, the Jews of Portugal were focibly converted to Chirstianity. Despite the danger of the punishment for heresy, many of the converted Jews continued to practice Judaism in secret. Five centuries after the Spanish Inquisition, the film examines how these clandestine practices, often preserved by women, became a challenge for the community, as an aura of mystery still exists about the practice.
About Jewish American Heritage Month
On April 20, 2006, President George W. Bush proclaimed that May would be Jewish American Heritage Month. The announcement was the crowning achievement in an effort by the Jewish Museum of Florida and South Florida Jewish community leaders urging the president to proclaim a month that would recognize the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to American culture. www.jewishamericanheritagemonth.gov
The photographs will be featured throughout the month of May, 2010. The first ever public screening of the film, The Last Marranos, in Memphis, will take place at the museum on Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 4:00 p.m. Free with regular museum admission (Adults-$6, Seniors-$5, Students-$4). Seating is limited, reservations recommended. For more information, please contact the museum.
Film provided by: The National Center for Jewish Film