Jews of Egypt

Documentary maker Amir Ramses surveys the history of Egypt’s Jewish community, which played a prominent role in secular society throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries but was almost entirely driven out of the country after the mid-1950s. The tone is more wistful than sorrowful, as Ramses paints an affectionate picture of a multicultural Egypt that no longer exists (especially moving are his reflections on prewar Alexandria, which recall Youssef Chahine’s great autobiographical drama Alexandria . . . Why?). Ramses also takes an evenhanded approach to the Middle Eastern Jews who opposed the creation of the State of Israel, fearing that it would endanger assimilationist Jews in the region. This is a compelling history lesson, though it often looks like a PowerPoint presentation. In subtitled Arabic and French.