Screen/Society--French Film Series: "The Rabbi's Cat"
Film Screening: "The Rabbi's Cat" ("Le chat du rabbin") (Antoine Delesvaux and Joann Sfar, 2011, 76 min, France, in French and Russian with English subtitles, Color, Blu-Ray)-- Based on co-director Joann Sfar's popular comic-book series of the same name, "The Rabbi's Cat" features a remarkable, if hairless and giant-eared, feline at its center. This wryly philosophical, beautifully drawn, meticulously detailed animated film takes place during the 1920s and '30s in Algiers, where the kitty of the title is preparing for his bar mitzvah. Having previously devoured his master's parrot, the cat now has the power of speech, which he uses, as a devout soul should, to constantly question and probe his faith. Soon the cat and the rabbi set out for Ethiopia, encountering along the way a host of characters of various creeds and ethnicities. During their trek, the Jewish leader and his inquisitive pet will face a few treacherous situations. But their voyage ultimately, upliftingly results in interfaith harmony and a richer understanding of their own religious identity and history.// Made possible by support from the Florence Gould Foundation, the Grand Marnier Foundation, and highbrow entertainment.