Dir. Ryan Porush | 70 min
EnglishHebrewAmharic with English subtitles
The Passengers tells the story of the final community of Ethiopian Jews and its struggle to immigrate to Israel. While on a fateful trip to America as part of a grassroots advocacy campaign, a pair of Ethiopian best friends confront culture shock, homesickness and the pressures of representing their abandoned community. With intimate access and detailed historical context, their own journey reveals the thorny politics surrounding Ethiopian and American Jewry, and the Zionist ideal.
Enjoy a virtual Q&A with filmmaker Ryan Porush on two dates:
Ryan Porush is a documentary filmmaker and journalist based in LA. He’s produced, filmed and edited documentaries and short films around the world, with an emphasis on telling dynamic, character-driven stories that give voice to marginalized communities. He received a BA from UCSB, and an MA in documentary journalism from NYU, where he learned from established documentarians like Kirsten Johnson, Carol Dysinger and Shimon Dotan. Porush’s award-winning first short documentary film, Two Hundred Percent, screened at film festivals in 2016. He has collaborated with VICE, GQ and National Geographic. He founded the production company Far Between Pictures in 2017.
David Elcott has spent the last thirty years at the intersection of community building, the search for a theory of cross-boundary engagement, and interfaith and ethnic organizing and activism. Trained in political psychology and Middle East affairs at Columbia University and Judaic studies at the American Jewish University, Dr. Elcott is the Taub Professor of Practice in Public Service and Leadership at the Wagner School of Public Service at NYU and faculty director of the Advocacy and Political Action specialization at Wagner. His present research is focused in a number of inter-related areas: Launched with Ford Foundation grants, Dr. Elcott addresses how religious leaders can constructively affect civil discourse and democracy, searching for pathways for positive religious involvement in civic affairs.