“The Last of the Jews”: those who stay and those who leave

“The Last of the Jews”: those who stay and those who leave


After an introductory quote from Isaiah ( “Blessed are those who wait for him” ), which we provide for the exegesis of our readers, the camera descends from the sky and lands on the colorful market square of a city in the region. Parisian. There, a not-so-young, whimsical-looking young man named Bellisha (Michael Zindel) is visibly looking for a strictly kosher chicken, which he doesn’t quite realize yet will have to brush to find. one on area like this. From which a voice-over – which evokes the cinematic romance of the New Wave – rises to present to us this singular hero with an affable nature, indeed happy to wait for both his chicken and his god. Even if it means buying the first one in one of the many halal butcher shops available.

Where things go a little wrong is when he returns home, where Giselle (Agnès Jaoui) awaits him, a Jewish mother cloistered at home by illness, naturally worried about everything, and to whom it is especially appropriate to hide that they are, she and him, the last Jews in the city. An exercise, in short, à la Good Bye Lenin! (Wolfgang Becker, 2003) – where a son reinvented East Germany to hide the fall of the Berlin Wall from his communist mother, awakened from a coma. Noé Debré will not make the entire film on this ingenious thread. Firstly because Giselle, astute, perfectly differentiates between kosher chicken and halal chicken. Then, because the question of subterfuge is undoubtedly less important in his eyes than that of the edification of his superhero of nonchalance, defined as active philosophy, Bellisha.

Tightrope wire

This silhouette is all the stronger because the background against which it stands out is disturbing. And appears double trigger. That of the film, first of all, with the good jokes about cutting the throats of friends in the neighborhood, the anti-Semitic tags that send shivers down your spine and all that stuff that we recently learned from the mouths of the presidents of prestigious American universities that tolerating it could be “context dependent” . That of reality, then, where for around twenty years the list of Jewish victims of Islamism in France and around the world, abused, tortured and murdered, sheds enough light on the nature of the said context.

Something imperial surrounds Bellisha, who persists in staying in the neighborhood when her mother, not entirely devoid of racist prejudices either and tuned to the Israeli channel I24, wants to set sail. In the order of merit, we will cite his reluctance to community enlistment. His more than weak participation in canvassing heat pumps with his cousin Asher (excellent Solal Bouloudnine), who long ago took to his heels and left the neighborhood. His natural tendency towards fabrication, such as “yes, I do krav maga” or “no, the people who are breaking down the door of the Asian neighbor to liberate Palestine have not come to the wrong door and are in fact coming to repair a damage waters “ . Last but not least , his voluptuous and incendiary relationship with a statuesque adulterous Muslim neighbor (Eva Huault, atomic), who likes nothing more than to demand “dirty words in Hebrew” , a language of which he knows at most one or two refrains from pioneering songs.

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