Matzo & Mistletoe, a documentary from Vineyard-based filmmaker and author Kate Feiffer, will screen on Thursday, May 21, at 6 p.m. at the Oak Bluffs Public Library.
Ms. Feiffer was six years old when her father told her she was Jewish. Since she celebrated Christmas and never attended synagogue, this information came as a surprise. In Matzo & Mistletoe, she interviews a fascinating cast of characters, and uses archival footage, illustration and clips from television shows and movies to ponder the paradox of American secular Judaism.
Matzo & Mistletoe features interviews with Ms. Feiffer’s mother, Judy Feiffer; her father, cartoonist/writer Jules Feiffer; her childhood friend, Deborah Newitz; broadcast legend Mike Wallace; author of The Vanishing American Jew, Alan Dershowitz; essayist Daphne Merkin; journalists Walter Shapiro and Meryl Gordon, Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald, and others.
Matzo & Mistletoe is an engaging exploration of personal identity. Many Americans struggle to hold on to their ethnic and religious heritage while conforming to an American identity. As a country populated by immigrants and the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of immigrants, it is natural that concerns about assimilation and acculturation play heavily in our national identity. Through an exploration of secular Jewish identity, Matzo & Mistletoe furthers dialogue and generates laughter about these confusing and important aspects of being an American in the 21st century.