THE CHOSEN ONES (EXCERPTS)
(Jüdische Rapper und singende Rabbis in NYC)
Documentary 2009, 60/90 min, ARTE / NDR
Written, directed & produced by: Wendla Nölle
DOP: Kevin Fritz & Ian Vollmer
Music is a calling, divine or otherwise. For some, the calling is entirely secular; for others, it is profoundly spiritual, but for all the young musicians featured in Wendla Nölle's documentary "The Chosen Ones" their Jewish background plays an important role. Musician and filmmaker Wendla Nölle travels to Manhattan in search of the face of young Jewish music and introduces us to New York's new generation of Jewish musicians. Among the artists profiled is an Orthodox convert who can rap in four different languages, weaving them into a musical study of Talmudic teachings; Israelis, combining the music of their ancestors with modern sounds, proclaiming peace for the Middle East; a young blues musician who sings almost forgotten cantorial chants against African beats; a pop music group that combines a funk sound with Jewish spirituality and Hebrew lyrics; and an Orthodox rabbi who has found a home in the Lower East Side's indie music scene with funny, quirky songs that often deal with weighty subjects such as the Israel-Palestine conflict.
But the film features not only the musicians but also the city of New York itself, its frenetic multiplicity adding a vibrant backdrop to the distinct performances.
The Chosen Ones is a study in microcosm of a generation coming of age, as diverse artists grapple with how to combine their beliefs, cultural backgrounds and individual voices into an expression of who they are.
Prize for the best film in the section "Music and Musicians"
at the Milano Doc Festival
Nominated for "Babelsberger Medienpreis 2008"
San Francisco Jewish Film Festsival / USA, Oulu Music Video Festival / Finland, Milano Doc Festival / Italy, New Filmmakers at Anthology Film Archives, New York City / USA, International Music Film Festival / Macedonia, Sun Valley Spiritual Film Festival, Idaho / USA, Jewish Film Week Vienna / Austria, Warsaw Jewish Film Festival / Poland, Maine Jewish Film Festival / USA, Jewish Eye - World Jewish Film Festival, Ashkelon / Israel