I’m in the habit of taking the train into Boston to see a film or indulge a Chipotle craving, so I figured a drive up to the Coconut Point shopping center in Estero for the Jewish Film Festival would be comparable.
It’s a 45 minute drive from East Naples straight up the Tamiami Trail to Estero and I was amazed to see that the landscape didn’t change – partially occupied strip mall after highly capitalized strip mall, mile after mile.
I had called the Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties earlier in the day to reserve my ticket to see The Golden Pomegranate, and I’m glad I did. When I arrived at the Regal 20 cinema, the were sold out and none too organized.
As seems to be the case with everything I do here in southwest Florida, I was the youngest person in attendance by at least a generation.
The film was advertised as being a story of North African pilgrims finding their way to the Holy Land. Considering my proposed itinerary involves making my way from North Africa to Israel, it sounded ideal. Turns out somebody needs a geography lesson – Yemen is not in Africa.
Despite losing the picture several times and having to start over, a pageant-y aesthetic, and heavy-handed message, The Golden Pomegranate got me thinking. For one, it was interesting to see how the Christian community was represented. A sister from the Christian hospital purports to be a “frrrriend” but Mazal, the story’s protagonist, wonders what she wants in return. And that’s just the beginning of the friction among communities.