Genre: documentary / history
Duration: 1 x 80’ or 1 x 60’
Producer/Director: Frédérique Cifuentes
Where the Blue and the White Nile meet is known as the longest kiss in history. This is where the story of the Jews in the Sudan starts with eight Jewish families living under Egyptian-Turkish rule before 1880.
In 1977 a group of Jewish people, having fled persecution in the Sudan during the 60’s, organised a highly secret mission to transfer the buried remains in the Jewish cemetery and the Torah Scrolls from Khartoum to Jerusalem. This film reveals the unusual journey of the sacred books away from the Sudan to make known how this most enigmatic community has kept its identity as, The Jews of Sudan.
In 1945 the Jewish population of Sudan numbered near a thousand, today it is zero.
‘The Jews and the longest kiss in history’ is a journey through history told by those that experienced it at firsthand. The film chronicles life under the Mahdi, the effect of British imperialism on the community and the eventual exile and deliberate obliteration of all signs of Judaism in the Sudan.
The filmmaker has gained unprecedented access to more than fifty members of the ex-Sudan Jewish community, informing the research. This is a story of a “white” Jewish minority located where the Arab world meets black Africa. The audience experience a moving visual journey revealed through a collection of archival images and home movies taken by the Sudanese Jews of the Sudanese Jews and the world around them.
We see how the highly structured community played a large role in the economic development of the country. The interviewees reveal the dangerous and threatening conditions that sent them into exile. We witness them recount the emotions of fleeing the deteriorating situation; leaving behind their properties, businesses and a certain way of life, but always with the spirit of the community intact.
The film centres on the intangible link that binds the community to this day, the Torah scrolls of Sudan, and the journey they and the people took to New York, London, Geneva and Jerusalem.