April 21, 2023

Thanks to the generous support of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, the Program of Judaic Studies and the Lewis Center for the Arts, on Tuesday April 11th, SPA209 students and SPO colleagues gathered for a remote engaging conversation with Mexican filmmaker Isaac Cherem.  In his initial remarks, Cherem shared more about the history of Jewish Syrian communities in Mexico. Then, he conveyed how his debut feature film Leona (2018), inspired by true stories, aims to open an intergenerational dialogue about belonging, individual and collective identities. His candid honesty about his own personal journey provided a deeper context and appreciation of the movie. Students asked thought-provoking questions about the creative process, representations of Jewish traditions to a global audience and the function of murals in the movie to name a few.  The highlight of the conversation was Cherem’s ability to connect with all the attendees in a profound way that left us longing for a future encounter.