The little-known story of a Jewish naval officer who bought Thomas Jefferson’s beloved Monticello home, saving his family from mounting debt, restoring it from ruin, and turning it into an iconic landmark and national treasure despite anti-Semitic backlash. NOTE: Screens Virtually Only: Streaming window is 48 hrs after hit "play" and expires Sun. March 26 at 11:59pm.

  • Steve Pressman
  • USA
  • 72 minutes
  • PG

    [Virtual Only]

    Join the "History Happy Hour" Zoom Conversation (Tues. March 21, 6:30pm) with Director Steven Pressman, moderated by SJFF and Washington State Jewish Historical Society. Register HERE.

    Monticello remains one of the most iconic landmarks in American preservation history. While it is remembered as the home of President Thomas Jefferson, few know the story of what happened to the property after one of our nation’s Founding Fathers passed and its unlikely caretakers. When Jefferson died in 1826, he left behind a mountain of personal debt, forcing his heirs to sell his beloved Monticello home and all of its possessions to Uriah Phillips Levy, a Jewish naval officer and fervent believer in Jeffersonian ideals. THE LEVY’S OF MONTICELLO tells the little-known story of the Levy family, who owned, restored, and saved the estate from ruin for over 100 years, turning it into an iconic landmark amidst increasing anti-Semitic backlash from the community. The film also traces how this national treasure stands as a complex symbol and paradox of Democracy—a palatial plantation built by slaves and preserved by Jews—and confronts the stain of ongoing racism and anti-Semitism that remain part of the national narrative.

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    • Watching virtually? Advance ticket purchasers will receive a Virtual Access Email one (1) hour before the film streaming window opens. If you purchase when a film is already streaming, your Virtual Access Email link is live. Once you hit "play," you have 48 hours to finish the film. All films expire on Sun. March 26, 11:59pm. There is no grace period. Plan accordingly.
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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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