Punk Jews – The Full Documentary
From Hasidic punk rockers, Yiddish street performers, African-American Jewish activists, this film, released in 2012, covers politics, art, fashion, and religion like you have never seen before. Punk Jews explores a rising trend among committed Jews who are sincerely asking and expressing what it really means to be Jewish in the 21st century while smashing stereotypes. The term ‘punk’ is usually used to describe a group of singers with Mohawks and safety pins in their ears but the true essence of punk are people that don’t conform to the established expectations, who express themselves freely regardless of the opinions of others. This documentary is about ‘punk’ Jews.
Like most religious cultures, Judaism is struggling to bridge the gap between tradition and the modern world. There seem to be many different contradictory interpretations of Jewish traditions and many wrestle to find the answers to common questions regarding the stereotypes, rules, and regulations. This film takes us to New York City where there’s a new movement of young Jewish people expressing Judaism in unconventional ways. They are defying the norm at any cost as they embrace their Jewish identity in their own rediscovered ways.
More info at punkjews.com
It’s funny. The film was produced in 2012 and released online last year. Judaism, of course, has never been static or monolithic and still so much has changed! The Orthodox rapper Y Love featured here has since come out as gay. The documentary features Kal Holczler whose work as an unlicensed therapist for victims of childhood sexual abuse has been somewhat controversial. To say the least.
The documentary has been screened all over the place since its release. Is “Punk Jews” a new movement? Or is it reflective of something that has always been intrinsic to Judaism? What do I know. Watch the film and tell us!