Carole Zabar Center for Film

Xueta Island + Shorts: UnRaveling & The Broken Candle

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The short film is part of the Hanukkah Film Festival, presented in partnership with Menemsha Films and Chai Flicks.

Buy a pass for the whole festival here.

When the Inquisition decreed the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, there were no Jews officially left on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca. In 1435, the entire Jewish community underwent a massive baptism in order to save them from further persecution. But many converts - or “crypto Jews” - preserved the law of Moses. They lived secretly until 1691, when the “Autos de Fe” saw them publicly burned at the stake in front of the larger Mallorquin society. Marginalized and subjugated, the trauma their descendants, the chuetas, suffered was silenced by an ironclad social taboo, fostered even by themselves, eager to permanently forget the dark past.

Dani Rotstein, an American Jew and producer by profession, landed in Mallorca and discovered a robust legacy not yet widely known by the rest of the world. Fascinated by his continuous discoveries, he began to offer guided tours through the alleys of the Jewish quarters of Palma. Rotstein understood that this was not only about legends of the past: it is a story in current development. This documentary interrogates fundamental questions of human nature such as historical memory; identity and belonging; generational clashes; and the preservation of tradition. 

  • Year
  • Runtime
    63 minutes
  • Language
    English, Spanish
  • Country
    Spain, United States
  • Director
    Dani Rotstein, Felipe Wolokita and Ofer Laszewicki