The 7th annual Stowe Jewish Film Festival is excited to expand in 2022, bringing our first film to the Mad River Valley next week! Come join us at the Big Picture Theater in Waitsfield, 7pm Thursday July 21 for a screening of UnRaveling, followed by a discussion with the filmmaker and a Western historian. Come early if you’d like to order food and eat in the theater.
Thank you to our MRV film sponsors for making this screening possible: Sugarbush and Lawson’s Finest.
UnRaveling synopsis: “Did Pancho Villa really try to kill my grandfather? And if so, why?” In unraveling this mystery, filmmaker Stacey Ravel Abarbanel delves into memory, history, and contemporary life in the border town of Columbus, New Mexico, famed for being raided in 1916 by Villa’s army during the Mexican Revolution. While scholars have long debated why Villa attacked the village, one rumor persists: he was angry at Sam Ravel—a Jewish immigrant and local merchant—over an arms deal gone wrong. This probing-yet-delightful journey unfolds during the annual raid memorials, including the Cabalgata Binacional Villista, a magnificent cavalcade of equestrians who journey through Mexico for weeks in Villa’s hoof steps to join American riders on the border, turning the memory of a bloodbath into a festival of friendship. Broadening the mainstream narratives of both Jewish immigration and the borderlands, UnRaveling reveals an unusual personal history while examining broader, longstanding sagas about the border region—geopolitics, family, immigration, commerce, and culture, then and now.
The Stowe Jewish Film Festival (SJFF), a program of the Jewish Community of Greater Stowe, works with the intention of bringing community together, both internal and external. The festival is an opportunity to reach out to others in the central Vermont region to engage in community building and dialogue through cultural entertainment and education.
This year’s theme is ‘The Jewish Experience: a multiplicity of cultures, languages, countries and traditions.’
The schedule for the 2022 film screenings is:
July 13, 7:00 Yerusalem at Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center
The Incredible Story of Ethiopian Jewry traces the dramatic journey of this people who struggled to find their way back to the heart of the Jewish people after centuries of isolation.
July 21, 7:00 Unraveling at the Big Picture, Waitsfield
“Did Pancho Villa really try to kill my grandfather?” While attempting to unravel a family mystery, the filmmaker reveals a dynamic story of borderland relations between a Texas Jewish merchant family and their Mexican neighbors at the beginning of the 20th century.
(Note: dinner can be ordered and delivered to your seat.)
July 27, 7:00 The Missing Tale at Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center
A sensitive and intimate portrait of the few remaining members of the ancient Jewish community of Cochin, India
July 31, 7:00 Mamboniks at JCOGS in Stowe
A wonderfully entertaining story about the irresistible appeal of music and dance. Crossing geographic and cultural boundaries, the Mambo became a sensational trend in the 50s among Jews in New York, Miami and the Catskills. Following the film screening, we will celebrate the finale of the 7th season of the Stowe Jewish Film Festival in the JCOGS tent with a free dessert buffet and a dance party with a DJ and Mambo/Salsa dance instructor. GET OUT YOUR DANCING SHOES and join us!