Director Oscar Abeliuk’s audiovisual testament of the suffering and resilience of the people of Robinson Crusoe Island in the Juan Fernandez Archipielago off the coast of Chile in the face of one of the worst tsunamis to ever hit the continent.
Testamento audiovisual del Director Oscar Abeliuk sobre el sufrimiento y la tenacidad del pueblo de la Isla Robinson Crusoe en el Archipielago de Juan Fernández en la costa de Chile ante uno de los peores tsunamis que haya ocurrido en el continente Americano.
Israeli born, Yuval Ron, Oscar Award-Winning and Grammy-Nominated musician, World Music Composer, Lecturer, and Peace Activist, organized an artistic tour through Andalucia in June of 2010. Accompanied by three members of his ensemble, Yuval Ron visited Madrid, Cordoba, Seville, Jerez, and Granada. Many concerts and encounters with local Gypsy/Flamenco artists at different venues, theaters, restaurants, and backyards, culminated with a dazzling impromptu concert at a cavern in Granada. Major performances at Seville and Jerez provided the artistic inspiration to begin the realization of Yuval’s goal and dream: to mend and heal a “damaged world” through the convivencia of Sephardic, Sufi, Flamenco, and Gypsy music.
The life of Sara Levi has taken her from a dying Ottoman Empire that had sheltered the Sephardic Jews for more than 500 years to the thriving urban culture of California. On her Journey from the Mediterranean Island of Rhodes to her present home in Berkeley along the Pacific coast, she has brought with her cultural traditions from medieval Spain that were fervently maintained by the community of Rhodeslis. We can see in Sara of Rhodes how the songs, so central to the life of the Sephardim, express a longing for Spain and the life of riches left behind. In the cooking, we can see how the Levantine culture became absorbed into the life of the Jews on Rhodes, who shared a cuisine, as well as a peaceful coexistence with their Muslim neighbors. Finally, we can see Sara’s own unique personality, her way of finding a path in a “new world,” guided by a line, from poet Browning, that has become her talisman: “the best is yet to be.” There was no other possibility, no going back for Sara, for the community of Jews on Rhodes did not survive the Holocaust. Only a handful of Rhodeslis were forced to forge new lives in new worlds.