The Other Men in Black
A film by the Melton Center for Jewish Studies
Starring Fyvush Finkel, with Suzy Kohane, Jon Osbeck
Who are the Hasidic Jews? What is the Hasidic movement and its origins? While the story of the Hasidim is taught in modern Jewish history courses around the world, this film brings that story to life with a narrative plot line, historical re-creations, and animation. The Other Men In Black will command the attention of high-school, university, and adult learners.
Paige (Suzy Kohane) is a film student looking for a project. She sees some Hasidic Jews and asks her grandfather, Moishe (Fyvush Finkel), to tell her about them. As he explains the origins and impact of the Hasidim, we are introduced to the movement’s founder, the Ba’al Shem Tov (Jon Osbeck) and his world. Moishe explains the major ideas of the Hasidim and their opponents. When Paige expresses dismay that these concepts are largely lost, Moishe explains that the Hasidim have had an enormous impact on Jewish culture. He gives the example of Jewish music and explains the Hasidic influence with the help of friends Nedara Carlebach, Danny Maseng, and Matisyahu. He then tells a Hasidic story through live action and animation media.
Producer, Director and Editor: Phillip Garrett
Writer and Executive Producer: Matt Goldish
A project of the Jewish History Media Project, with Arbor Avenue Films and the Advanced Computing Center for Arts and Design at Ohio State. Funding for "The Other Men in Black" has been generously provided by the Nathan Cummings Foundation and the Allene N. Gilman Charitable Trust.