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February 28, 2020

Tree of Life shooting part of documentary 'Viral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations"

The poster for the documentary. (Darkstar Pictures)
The poster for the documentary. (Darkstar Pictures)
“5898 Wilkins Avenue,” a voice speaks in a calm monotone. “The complainant says they have an active shooter in the building. A second call says they are being attacked.”

So unfolds the first few moments of a new documentary, “Viral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations.” The Oct. 27, 2018, assault on the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill is the first of four stories that examine the worldwide rise in violence against Jews.

Pittsburgh is one of 11 cities that will stage special openings of the film at AMC theaters March 6. In addition to the Tree of Life shooting that killed 11 congregants, “Viral” documents incidents in France, England and Hungary. Andrew Goldberg, who wrote and directed the 83-minute film, chronicles the rise of antisemitic attacks through sadly familiar news reports as well as interviews with former president Bill Clinton, former British prime minister Tony Blair and, locally, Tree of Life Rabbi Hazzan Jeffrey Myers and Rabbi Elisar Admon.
   
Mr. Goldberg also moves beyond Pittsburgh to profile Republican Russell Walker’s bid for a seat in the North Carolina state house. A former resident of New Jersey, the chemical engineer appears friendly and accommodating, even while casually displaying one of his campaign signs: “What Is Wrong With Being Racist?”

In England, Mr. Goldberg drops in on a cousin he’s never met who was a member of Britain’s Labour Party. That party leader Jeremy Corbyn comes up: “Corby is our scarecrow… who scares off the Jews,” says Paul Marmot.

In France, Mr. Goldberg revisits the incident of Amedy Coulibaly’s attack on a Jewish grocery where four people were killed in 2015, two days after the violence at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s Paris offices.

Hungarian-American billionaire financier George Soros is Jewish and the subject of a hate campaign in his native country. There, Prime Minister Viktor Orban runs a political long con that paints Jews in general and Mr. Soros in particular, as scapegoats.

“Viral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations” is produced by Darkstar Pictures and So Much Film. It is screening March 6 at the AMC Waterfront. Other cities premiering the film that day include Atlanta, Boston, Miami, Columbus and Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Source: Reading Eagle