Protocols of Zion

Director: Marc Levin

Institute History

  • 2005 Sundance Film Festival


Noting an alarming upsurge of antisemitic sentiment in the U.S. and around the world after 9/11, veteran documentarian Marc Levin takes to the streets to measure the temperature of what Elie Wiesel calls "the oldest collective bigotry in history."

Throwing himself into the eye of an existential storm, Levin polls a panoply of folk to explore the notion that Jews are out for world domination—a theory propagated by "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," a century-old tract that, despite being discredited as a libelous forgery, is still available not only via white supremacist mail order but also on mass-market bookshelves. Levin talks with street prophets claiming Jews are accountable for 9/11; with the mastermind behind an Aryan separatist website; with Christian evangelicals, Kabbalist rabbis, rallying Palestinian American kids, Holocaust deniers and survivors, and parading peaceniks. With a healthy skepticism, Levin listens open-mindedly to all points of view but isn't above plunging into raucous debate from his position as a secular humanist Jew.

Meanwhile, the U.S. marches on Iraq, Arabic TV stations dramatize the "Zionist plot," Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir claims the Jews rule the world by proxy, Mel Gibson releases The Passion of the Christ, and violence reignites in Palestine/Israel. The impulse to point the finger of blame has never been stronger, and this film has never been more relevant or crucial as a reminder that hate only breeds more hate.

— Caroline Libresco

Screening Details


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