ALEGRÍA - Sephardic Spotlight

SEPHARDIC SPOTLIGHT: The North African city of Melilla, where Jews, Muslims, and Christians converge, is the unique backdrop for this moving, comedic family drama where Alegría must face her Jewish family and rejected heritage for her niece’s Orthodox wedding. NOTE: Screens In Person with short film SONGS OF THE SEPHARDIM OF IZMIR. Virtual tickets to Alegria include FREE add-on to the short film as well. Streaming window is 48 hrs after hit "play" and expires Sun. March 26 at 11:59pm.

  • Violeta Salama
  • Spain
  • 104 minutes
  • PG

    [In-Person + Virtual]

    In-Person Special Event: Film introduction by Professor Canan Bolel, UW Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures. Includes reception of Sephardic coffee klatch (echar lashon) with coffee, tea, and biscochos.

    Screens with short film SONGS OF THE SEPHARDIM OF IZMIR. This short film will play during the in-person showtime of Alegria. If you purchase virtual tickets to Alegria, enjoy a free ticket add-on to watch this short film as well.

    A moving and layered, amusing drama about a woman breaking free from patriarchal tradition in a Sephardic Jewish diasporic community. Set in contemporary Melilla, an autonomous, multicultural Spanish city on Africa’s north coast where Jews, Muslims, and Christians converge, Alegría (Cecilia Suárez) is a single mother who has returned to her hometown from Mexico for her niece Yael’s Orthodox Jewish wedding. When she learns that her family is going to stay with her, life gets messy. Alegría doesn’t acknowledge her Jewish heritage. Luckily, the women in her orbit, including a Muslim Moroccan girl who works for her, are there to help. Violeta Salama’s feature film debut sensitively depicts Alegría coming to terms with her roots and the cultural past she rejected—including a daughter living in Israel—as she struggles to reconnect with family and friends. Suárez’s standout performance is as riveting as the gorgeous evocation of a fascinating and beautiful corner of the world not often seen onscreen. Alegría is a luminous and surprising story that draws from the director’s own experiences growing up in Melilla. It plays as an homage to a city whose vivid contrasts and blended culture perfectly reflect the contour of her characters’ interconnected dramas.

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About Seattle Jewish Film Festival

Seattle Jewish Film Festival (SJFF) is one of the largest and longest-running film festivals in the Pacific Northwest and one of the leading Jewish film festivals in the country. A cornerstone program of the Stroum Jewish Community Center (SJCC) and its Arts + Ideas Program, each spring SJFF brings people together from across Washington State—and virtually around the globe—to celebrate and showcase the vibrancy and diversity of Jewish and Israeli life through cinema. Year-round, SJFF and SJCC Arts + Ideas present a season of performing and visual arts, author and chef talks—in-person, livestreamed, and virtually—to build connections, unlock perspectives, engage the community, and uplift the human spirit. Follow us on Facebook / Twitter (@seattlejff) and Instagram (@sjcc.arts).  

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