Nashville Jewish Film Festival: This Is Sodom, From 'The Israeli Saturday Night Live'

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A salesman in a shiny suit raps at the door of a desert hut. This is God. He sits down at the table of the lavishly bearded homeowner. This is Abraham. Opening his briefcase, God tells Abraham that if he'll sign up for monotheism, He can provide protection against all manner of plagues and smiters and such. Abraham asks if there's a membership fee. No, God says, but you'll have to kill your kid. "OK," says Abraham. "But there's no membership fee?"

OK, I laughed. So did a lot of other people — in Israel, where the 2010 comedy This Is Sodom became the biggest native box-office hit in 25 years. The work of Eretz Nehederet, the satirical TV comedy troupe described as "the Israeli Saturday Night Live," it's a series of irreverent skits closer in tone to Mel Brooks' History of the World Part I than the show's pointed topicality. Despite its blockbuster success abroad, it probably wouldn't have found a U.S. audience, if not for the many Jewish film festivals showing it across the country.

One of those is our own Nashville Jewish Film Festival, celebrating its 12th year at The Belcourt through Nov. 15. Film-festival sites and other online sources estimate the number of Jewish film festivals here and overseas at between 80 and 200; websites spotlight fests in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, all the way down to Baton Rouge and Buffalo, N.Y. The circuit has evolved into an alternate distribution route that has tapped a tailor-made niche for films from Israel, Europe and the U.S. — including This Is Sodom, showing at The Belcourt in a late-night berth 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

See the full article here. Below, the trailer for Saturday night's other attraction, the French family comedy-drama The Day I Saw Your Heart, starring Inglourious Basterds lead Melanie Laurent and veteran French character actor Michel Blanc. It screens 7 p.m. at The Belcourt.

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