The Levys Of Monticello
Dir. Steven Pressman | 70 min
Documentary United States 2021
JxJ 2022 Festival Audience Award Winner – Documentary
Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello residence stands as a complex and paradoxical symbol of democracy. Designed by Jefferson, built and tended by enslaved people, the palatial Virginia plantation was presidential retreat, retirement home, and Jefferson’s final resting place.
After it was sold due to mounting debts, Uriah Phillips Levy—a Jewish naval officer and fervent believer in Jeffersonian ideals—became its unlikely owner, restoring and saving the estate from ruin with the help of his family. The story behind this national treasure confronts the racism and anti-Semitism that remain part of the national narrative.The little-known story of the Levy family, which owned and carefully preserved Monticello for nearly a century—far longer than Thomas Jefferson or his descendants.
Screening followed by a conversation with director Steven Pressman and associate producer Lisa Stark.
Thursday, July 217:30 PM Cafritz Hall