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This film is eligible for the 2023 Miami Jewish Film Festival Audience Award! Watch the film and then cast your vote here.
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This fascinating chronicle of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello residence, just outside of Charlottesville, reveals a missing chapter of American Jewry and explores this complex symbol of Democracy. Designed by Jefferson, built and tended by slaves, the palatial plantation served as a presidential retreat, retirement home, and Jefferson’s final resting place. Sold due to mounting debts, Uriah Phillips Levy, a Jewish naval officer and fervent believer in Jeffersonian ideals, became its unlikely caretaker. When historical preservation was all but unheard of, Levy’s family restored and saved the estate from ruin. The story behind this national treasure confronts the stain of ongoing racism and anti-Semitism that remain part of our national narrative.

Accompanying the film premiere is a discussion with director Steven Pressman and moderator Gary Phillip Zola, the Executive Director of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA). To view the conversation please click here.


Closed captions for this film were made possible with the generous support of the Miami Jewish Abilities Alliance, a program of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    70 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Premiere
    Florida Premiere
  • Director
    Steven Pressman
  • Screenwriter
    Steven Pressman
  • Cast
    Amthongy Giles, Jackie Judd, Peter Riegert
  • Cinematographer
    David Sperling
  • Editor
    Richard Levien