The Rabbi Goes West
Impact | Insights
Multitalented VIFF alumni Gerald Peary and Amy Geller raise many timely and important questions about the rise of the right (and the overly confident) in this fascinating documentary about ballsy, fast-talking, 34-year-old rabbi Chaim Bruk, who moves from Brooklyn to Bozeman Montana to spread Orthodox Judaism. As he travels across "big sky" landscapes, he confronts both neo-Nazi threats and a more secular and liberal Jewish community that doesn’t quite know how to respond to his charisma and brand of religion.
The Rabbi Goes West exemplifies - with good humour and insight - the liberal and secular dilemma: how to be nice and inclusive while also being forthright regarding the difference between facts and opinions.
"What’s a non-religious, non-observant Jew doing making a movie… in which the main character is a Torah-following Hasidic Orthodox rabbi? There’s an evangelical strand of Hasidic Judaism - Chabad-Lubavitch - spreading across the world… Will Chaim succeed in his Chabad expansion, and at what cost?" - Gerald Peary