BENSIMON, Jacques = '20 ans apres' - film out-takes fonds.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of 131 canisters of film reels, some with many reels per canister, as well as several dozen additional loose sound reels, adding up to a total of 411 reels, most of which were used in making the film "20 Ans Après". The 37 canisters of synched sound and audio material in Series A…
The fonds consists of 131 canisters of film reels, some with many reels per canister, as well as several dozen additional loose sound reels, adding up to a total of 411 reels, most of which were used in making the film "20 Ans Après". The 37 canisters of synched sound and audio material in Series A were all filmed within the Montreal Jewish community of the mid 1970s. They cover most of the same topics that appear in the film, but in a more discursive manner than the final production could allow. As a result, they more fully reveal the breadth of the discussions and the scope of the concerns of the Montreal Jewish community at that time. In this regard, they may be among the most informative sources of information available about Francophone Jews in 1970s Quebec. The material in Series B consists mainly of additional elements used in the making of the film, such as archival footage of Jews in Morocco, and background sound, as well as some sound reels that appear to be associated with other Bensimon productions.
This is the only film about Moroccan Jews in Montreal (released 1977), 20 ans après documents the first 20 years of the Montreal Moroccan Jewish community. Jacques Bensimon was born in Morocco and came to Canada in 1958 with his family. He studied cinema at University of New York. In 1968, he started working with the NFB as a film editor and the as director. Jacques Bensimon made several films for the National Film Board about Morocco; Once . Agadir, Aqua Rondo, Carnets du Maroc III - La Volonté et la Foi, Carnets du Maroc II - Au sujet du Roi, Carnets du Maroc I - Mémoire à rebours. Other works by Jacques Bensimon are; With Hands and Hope, Richard Rohmer and His Referendum - A View from Quebec, and Rock-a-bye.
Donated by Mr. Jacques Bensimon, through J. Dahan, of the Communauté Sépharde du Québec in July 1997.
Alpha-numeric designations: P97/10.Related groups of records: Completed film 20 ans aprés (National Film Board video) in video collection.
BENSIMON, Jacques = '20 ans apres' - film out-takes fonds.
Scope and Content
The material in this series consists of 37 film canisters containing a total of 170 reels, or approximately 28 hours of related sound and visual materials. A few adidtional reels covering the same subject matter but lacking a sound or visual counterpart are also included among these reels. The cont…
The material in this series consists of 37 film canisters containing a total of 170 reels, or approximately 28 hours of related sound and visual materials. A few adidtional reels covering the same subject matter but lacking a sound or visual counterpart are also included among these reels. The contents of these canisters are described in detail in an electronic finding aid. They include Association francophone sepharade meetings and conferences; a radio call in show filmed at Radio CKAC; interviews with Jewish merchants; a circumsicion ceremony and reception in a private home, a wedding ceremony with prior interviews with the bride, a recent convert to Judaism; children at primary school; and interviews with Jewish community activists and social workers.
Approximately 1/3 of the Jacques Bensimon collection was found to consist of synchronized 16mm sound and image reels used in the making of the NFB/ONF film "20 Ans Après...", about the Moroccan Jewish community of Montreal. These materials are described as a separate series because they were judged to be the most useful for future research use,
Physical condition: The visual material is generally in poor condition, with a loss of colour tones and with interfering marks from interspersed leader tape segments and synchronization marks. The sound reels are in better condition, but are marred by synchronization beeps. The synchronization is not completely successful for most of this material.
Lison Chocron and Raphael Mergui talk with Matthias Rioux on CKAC call-in radio show Quebec Aujourd'hui. Alternating with Ms. Chocron's fellow male activists/organizers of Sephardic origin as they critique the pros and cons of doing the show. Topics of discussion include: francophone Jews in Quebec, their failure to support Bill 22, Jewish stereotypes in Quebec presented by Rioux, minority status, marriage patterns of Sephardic Jews versus English Jews in Quebec, JIAS, Canadian Jewish Congress, and various activities and goals of francophone Jewish organizations, a short history of the first Jews to Quebec and their dilemma between Catholic and Protestant groups, social problems of adaptation and assimilation to the existing Jewish establishment and Quebec integration.
A group of 7 to 8 Moroccan Jewish men at Casa Pedro discuss the pros and cons of various aspects of their experiences in trying to integrate into Quebec society. Much joking. Some, more integrated than others, explain their firsthand accounts. They touch upon the taboo of intermarriage, the specific problems of being seen as Jews versus as Moroccans, the need to find a sense of belonging, comparisons with Ontario's Sephardic Jews who blended in with the English, and some unanswered questions about their place in Quebec, should it become independent. The sequence ends with their playing a video game and walking as a group down a street in the evening. Disappointing both in content and general comprehension, but one or two revealing details can be assumed from this collection of representative Moroccan men.
1C: Various shopkeepers recount the reasons they are in Canada, the amount of time since their arrival, and their background in several takes before their shop windows. They are: Jacques Elharrar (?) of Boucherie Select (kosher), six years in Canada, 35 years old, occupation butcher; George Cohen, optician, ten years in Canada; Nissim Loeub of Loueb Jewelry and Watches, three years in Canada though he holds the honour of working for the Palace of Morocco in crafting swords for the king -- he holds an example of his craftsmanship - worked as a jeweller since 1935; Maurice Cohen, men's barber, ten years in Canada; Elefair (?) David, owner of a travel agency and combination women's hair salon for three years; Kahone Salomon, "epicier" in front of his shop, Market Kahone, specializing in Moroccan spices for eight years.
2C: Four merchants discuss how long they have been here and why they like Canada, how long they have had their shops, and their appreciation of Canada's liberty compared to their Moroccan past. Simplest and clearest statements of shop owners. Most of the other material loses sync sound, rambling, not particularly articulate.
Reels marked Mme. Amzallag -- suggests either the counsellor or the client -- a woman with a hat seen from the back confusedly recounts her Moroccan marriage and subsequent separation after being in Canada for ten years with two children. Her social values as a Moroccan and those of Quebec culture have presumably come into conflict.
Three different shelters for older Sephardic Jewish males -- they screw in bolts in one factory -- various sync shots about 7 min. A 64-year-old former businessman wearing a hair net in a packing company speaks of Canada's climate compared to his past in Cairo, Egypt. At 11 minutes, we go to another factory with man at pressing machine. Incomplete sequence.
Beautiful Moroccan chanting and Hebrew prayers of the minyan gathered for the circumcision. The baby is brought out in the customary long robe by the father and passed to the mohel, the man who will perform the procedure. As prayers continue, the camera zooms in on the tiny penis being prepared. Prayers continue without image and resume with Jacques Bensimon asking a French-Canadian woman for her impressions. Then people eating from a long table of food. Cutaway reel shows the mohel sterilizing his instruments, close-up of the baby, various guests and a bleached-blond woman, presumably the mother, feeding a baby bottle of milk to calm the child. The whole sequence is choppy. More footage of waiting guests, then leaving.
Black-and-white footage of Middle East countries such as Algeria, Egypt and Morocco - some optical sound - to demonstrate their colonial past and modernization under the various invading countries. History of the region. Choppy at best. Perhaps from NFB archives (?) of films.
While sitting around a table, four young Moroccan Jewish men at a youth centre talk about their father's progress in finding work and recount their own frustrations adapting to the education system, their misdeeds as gesture of rebellion leading to a collective theft. The last few shots of them are outside as they walk away at night on the street. These are the delinquents referred to in canister P-0160-36.
This is a sequence referring to Protestant, rather than francophone, schooling at Northmount, though it is missing in the out-takes we have.