Bernard-Henri Lévy Lights the First Hanukkah Candle on Opening Night

In recent news, the well-known French philosopher, filmmaker, veteran war journalist, political activist, and author, Bernard-Henri Lévy, took to lighting the first candle at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival. The ceremony had been held on Sunday night to mark the beginning of Hanukkah at the Jerusalem Cinematheque. The philosopher was accompanied by a handful of people at the candle-lighting ceremony in Jerusalem. This included the Consul General of France, Rene Troquez, as well as the head of the board at the Van Leer Institute, Nanno Kleiterp. 

The institute had been established by Wim Van Leer, who is husband to the founder of the Jerusalem Cinematheque, Lia Van Leer. Lévy attended the event as he was specially invited to be the guest of honor at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival. Moreover, he is also going to be awarded the Achievement Award of the festival. The candle lighting was hosted in the library of the Jerusalem Cinematheque, right before Lévy’s latest documentary, The Will to See: Dispatches from a World of Misery and Hope, was screened for the attendees to view.

Soon after the screening, the French philosopher left as he had been scheduled to participate in a conversation with a renowned documentary filmmaker and journalist, Itai Anghel. Earlier on the same day, the French Consulate in the city of Jerusalem had hosted a celebratory meeting, which had been attended by Troquez, as well as Eric Danon, the French Ambassador. Lévy went on to give a speech while attending the reception being held at the consulate. He added that he was happy to be present in the State of Israel and how much he misses it. In his words, he often wishes to be back in the city of Jerusalem once again. 

Talking about his film, he said that it has been screened in numerous places across the globe, such as Paris and Rome. However, he stated that the most exciting place for him in the world is the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival. Lévy stood alongside the locals and helped light candles. He then went on to recite prayers and joined others in singing traditional Hanukkah songs. However, the French philosopher did not eat any traditional donuts, also known as sufganiyot, prepared especially for the occasion by the cinematheque reception. 

The Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival is all set to run until the 2nd of December, in the location where the opening ceremony was held that is the Jerusalem Cinematheque. The organizers have planned to feature a couple of movies related to the lives of Jews, their culture, history, as well as their personalities. These films are not only restricted towards exploring the lifestyle of Jews in Israel but rather, across the globe. The festival further includes documentaries, animated films, feature films, classics, and children’s movies. It also features some meetings with filmmakers and their interviews. 

The CEO of the Cinematheque in Jerusalem, Dr. Noa Regev, is the one responsible for directing the entire festival, along with Daniella Tourgeman. 

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