WASHINGTON JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL
City of Joel
Dir. Jesse Sweet | 83 min
EnglishYiddish with English subtitles
Sunday, May 128:20 PM E Street Cinema
Sunday, May 195:30 PM Bethesda Row Cinema
City of Joel follows an ultra-orthodox Hasidic group as they wage a turf war to expand their community boundaries. 50 miles north of New York City, the Satmars have thrived in a 1.1 square mile religious haven called Kiryas Joel, or City of Joel, for over 40 years.
With some of the highest rates of marriage, birth, and religious observance in the US, their success has come at a price, as Kiryas Joel is no longer big enough to hold its 22,000 members. When a plan is created to double the size of the village, their secular neighbors fight back.