Surf and Turf 2008-2011 16mm and Digital Video
Part 3. of The Suburban Trilogy

+Surf and Turf 2008, 16mm and DVCAM to Beta Scene 28: Pingyao.

This film examines contemporary ambiguities of Syrian Orthodox Jews who have built extensive synagogues, restaurants and schools on the Jersey shore, profoundly changing the local culture, continuing a tradition of immigration, if not exactly, assimilation. The look is secular, the lifestyle capitalist and religious. The topic—that of the “unmelted pot” of America’s small towns combined with a portrait of wealthy orthodox religious sectarians— is a compelling one. What does it mean to have class in America? What does it mean to be Jewish? I think of conflicts between Israel and Palestine, Serbia and Bosnia, India and Pakistan: neighboring families and races split apart by religion. Extreme poverty enforces the tribal, while extreme wealth maintains it. Surf and Turf provides no easy answers but raises issues that have too long stayed behind closed doors: what do we say when we think no one is listening?

Distribution: Abigail Child