December 10th-11th 2019
Venue: Aula Hof 1, Campus of the University of Vienna (Spitalgasse 2, 1090 Vienna)
In Jewish culture, the Midrash, the commentary is a central instrument to understand the Bible, Talmud or the Kabbalah. The feature films that deal with Jewish culture are a visual Midrash about Jewish Life, Tradition and Texts. The „intertextuality“ in literary studies has shown how texts in other writings can lead a second life in form of connotations or quotations. This is exactly what we can see in the films that use the texts and elements of Jewish tradition and transform them into visualizations.
We can discover that in many films the Jewish references are by no means just an accessory. The movies represent in an intertextual and intervisual way a thoroughly modern commentary and have coined the image of Judaism in popular culture – film as a modern form of Midrash. Films are to be considered as a primary source like a Midrash or other texts. They, too, comment on elements of tradition, reinterpret biblical figures or develop a Jewish counter-history. They are modern commentaries on Jewish culture and Jewish life, but also shape the public image of Judaism. Thus it is very important to contextualize these films and to analyze their cultural contexts and how they present Jewish sources.