The Passengers

Ryan S. Porush, USA/Ethiopia, 2019, 72 min., English, Hebrew and Amharic w/ English subtitles

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Gershman Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival Fall Fest
Philadelphia Premiere

In Ethiopia, there is a community of over 9,000 Jews. They speak Hebrew, keep kosher, and have relatives in Israel, yet the State continues to deny their appeals for aliyah — the Jewish birthright to become a citizen of Israel. The community survives within a temporary, difficult reality in Ethiopia, dreaming of living fully as Jews in Israel.

The Passengers tells the story of the Ethiopian Jews and of the struggle for this final community to immigrate to Israel. The film follows the amazing journey of two young men, Demoz and Gezi, as they represent their abandoned community on a fateful mission in America. With intimate access and detailed historical context, we follow the unlikely spokesmen out of Ethiopia for the first time in their lives as they deal with intense pressure, homesickness, and ups and downs of a grassroots campaign.

Official Selection: Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, Washington Jewish Film Festival