Jewish Britain on Film

Jewish life on screen: a century of insights and hidden histories

This collection uncovers insights, injustices and hidden histories across a century of Jewish life on British screens. It brings together documentary and first-person accounts of Jewish life in the UK, alongside dramas, comedies and artists’ work exploring the 20th century Jewish experience. The earliest surviving depictions of Jewish characters in British cinema offer a troubling insight into antisemitic representation, yet prejudice was later tackled head-on, with newsreels documenting the anti-fascist movement of the 1930s. Drop in on joyous family weddings and community gatherings, and see the ways in which UK Jewry supported Jews young and old, and those fleeing persecution, in a selection of fascinating films from the 1900s to the 1980s. 

This collection is generously supported by the Neil Kreitman Foundation, Shoresh Charitable Trust, John S Cohen Foundation, and Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation.

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A Kid for Two FarthingsA Kid for Two Farthings

Comedy195590 minsDirector: Carol Reed

The adventures of a young boy who buys a small goat in the belief that it’s a unicorn that will be able to grant the wishes of him and his friends.

Rent for £3.50

Simon MagusSimon Magus

Drama2000115 minsDirector: Ben Hopkins

Noah Taylor (Game of Thrones) stars as an outcast accused of sorcery by his fellow 19th-century villagers, in Ben Hopkins' rich and haunting allegory.

Rent for £1.00

The Bespoke OvercoatThe Bespoke Overcoat

Fantasy195538 minsDirector: Jack Clayton

A clerk in a cold warehouse wants one of the warm sheepskin coats stacked around him.

Rent for £3.50

The Small World of Sammy LeeThe Small World of Sammy Lee

Drama1963107 minsDirector: Ken Hughes

Seedy Soho strip-club compere Sammy (Anthony Newley) races to escape the heavies who hunt him in this gritty, engrossing 1960s London thriller.

Currently unavailable

The Wandering JewThe Wandering Jew

Fantasy1934102 minsDirector: Maurice Elvey

After spitting on Christ on the way to crucifixion, a Jewish man is cursed with immortality

Rent for £3.50

Suzie GoldSuzie Gold

Romance200490 minsDirector: Ric Cantor

Girl meets goy: a Jewish princess must decide between a Jew and a gentile in this light-hearted romantic comedy

Rent for £3.50


Drama201694 minsDirector: David Leon

Stephen Graham is the orthodox Jew tempted into a life of violence by his corrupt associate (Michael Smiley), in this riveting and complex crime drama.

Rent for £3.50

Solomon and GaenorSolomon and Gaenor

Romance1999104 minsDirector: Paul Morrison

The moving and passionate story of illicit love between a Welsh girl and a Jewish boy, set against a backdrop of industrial unrest in the Welsh Valleys of 1911.

Rent for £2.50

At the Fountainhead (Of German Strength)At the Fountainhead (Of German Strength)

Drama198092 minsDirector: Anthea Kennedy and Nick Burton

A German-Jewish musician seeks exile in Cold War London in this rich experimental work.

Rent for £3.50

Two WorldsTwo Worlds

War193189 minsDirector: E.A. Dupont

An Austrian officer falls in love with a Jewish villager in this early sound epic set during WWI

Rent for £3.50

The Angel with the TrumpetThe Angel with the Trumpet

Romance195099 minsDirector: Anthony Bushell

Anthony Bushell directs this 1950 British drama about the rise and fall of a family of Austrian piano-makers in Vienna.

Rent for £3.50

Money TalksMoney Talks

Comedy193374 minsDirector: Norman Lee

Norman Lee's charming comedy Money Talks tells the story of old Abe Pilstein (Julian Rose) who is in line to inherit a large sum of money from a distant relative - but needs to prove he needs it first.

Rent for £3.50

Esther KahnEsther Kahn

Drama2001142 minsDirector: Arnaud Desplechin

Arnaud Desplechin's artfully directed tale of a young Jewish girl drawn to the passion of theatre in 19th-century London.

Rent for £3.50

The Book of GabrielleThe Book of Gabrielle

Drama201679 minsDirector: Lisa Gornick

Lisa Gornick's funny and frank drama sketches the relationship between a sex-obsessed lesbian illustrator and a randy hetero author, who bond over their favourite subject.

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