Legends of the Lost Tribes, Episode 10

25 Minutes, 1996
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Directed by: Aran Patinkin
Production Company:Neot Semadar Communications Ltd.
Photographer: Dan Avnun
Language: Hebrew
Subtitles: English, Hebrew

A 13-episode documentary series created by director and filmmaker, Aran Patinkin, which traces the legend of the lost tribes who, according to ancient scriptures were banished from the Kingdom of Israel after it fell to the Assyrians in the 8th century BCE. On this journey, in which Patinkin sets out to uncover what became of them, every episode shines a line on select individuals, traditions, beliefs, and cultures which, in some form or another, all lead back to one of the lost tribes.
In this episode, we meet the Jewish community in the Mexican village of Venta Prieta (which means ‘dark windows’). The locals who, at the turn of the 20th century when their village was first discovered, were dubbed the Jewish Indians (on account of their indigenous Mexican features) have their own synagogue and are known to observe all Jewish commandments and traditions. It is also believed that they are descended from the Spanish Jews who, in the 15th century were forced to abandon their faith or face expulsion from Spain (thereby earning the nickname, ‘anusim’ – literally meaning ‘coerced’).

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