- Discussion Guide
The Monster Among Us is about the alarming rise of anti-Semitism in Europe.
The film includes excerpts from almost 200 hours of footage shot in Germany, Hungary, France, England, Holland and Belgium. Anti-Semitism has surfaced on university campuses, in the media, on the streets, on the Internet, at political demonstrations and in seemingly innocent social situations.
It examines this wave of anti-Semitism against European Jews and their institutions, mainly from the point of view of those who have directly experienced the violence or live every day with the threat.
As this film makes graphic, a climate of hostile opinion affects Jews in Europe today in ways few could have anticipated as recently as a decade ago. No one who watches THE MONSTER AMONG US can doubt that anti-Semitism is back and needs to be taken seriously. The interviews presented here drive home that point credibly and unmistakably. – Alvin H. Rosenfeld, Professor of English and Jewish Studies & Director of the Institute for Jewish Culture and the Arts, Indiana Univ.
The Monster Among Us is a provocative and timely film. You deserve immense credit for bringing the subject of European anti-Semitism out of the closet, and for exposing the Radical Islamists in major European cities who have
been attacking Jews with impunity. Here at Brandeis, your film drew a considerable audience and sparked a vigorous discussion. That is what a university should be about! – Jonathan D. Sarna, Director of Hornstein: The Jewish Professional Leadership Program & Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History, Brandeis University
I think it’s a major documentary about this large-scale, most dangerous development that lives in the depth of our mythical consciousness and can, therefore, rise at any given time, creating havoc. Here it is, in your film, indicating its wide-ranging capacity, leading from hatred to murder. – Zsuzsanna Ozsvath, Leah and Paul Lewis Chair of Holocaust Studies, UT Dallas
Watch The Monster Among Us, and then, when the first European pogrom [holocaust] of the 21st century happens, you will not be able to say that you are shocked. You will be outraged and saddened and scared, and we can scream “never again!”, but you will not be able to claim you are shocked. The directors bring you face to face, and face to mask, with the victims and demons of modern anti-Semitism in Europe. – Charles Stone, Professor at CUNY & Brooklyn College professor
The lnspiration for the Film
Cynthia’s sister’s husband is French. He has been living in the United States for 30 years, but his parents, siblings and cousins live in Paris. The Mondells had been hearing reports of vandalism of Jewish cemeteries and synagogues and physical attacks on Jews in France. When they mentioned these to their brother-in-law, he shocked them by revealing that his own family was considering leaving the country.
So they wondered: How serious a problem is this? ls it just in France alone or it happening in other European countries? How could this be going on in Europe again – just 60 years after the Holocaust?
A trip to Berlin in April of 2004 (to a conference on anti-Semitism in Europe today, hosted by the German government) was the beginning of a journey that took them to 6 different countries, where they recorded 170 hours of interviews, with both Jews and non-Jews, experts and regular folks, expressing their concerns and feelings.
The result is The Monster Among Us.
THE MONSTER AMONG US aired on The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The film has been screened around the world at major conferences and on college campuses. It personalizes the anti-Semitic feelings and actions in Europe, bringing to light the stories behind the headlines.