“The Possession” Trailer


While An-Sky’s play emphasizes the historical and communal aspect of the horror inflicted by the dybbuk rather than its supernaturalism, this film departs from such interpretation by using Jewish exoticism as a source of fear. When the dybbuk possesses a non-Jewish girl, her father, who is also not Jewish, is the one to attempt to expel the demon. This film seems to feed into a fascination with the barbaric, primitive, and horrifying other as a human being stripped of its humanity.

The idea of the dybbuk, originally, is also meant to represent the way that everyone otherizes within their own cultures and within themselves (their minds and bodies) but when the “evil dybbuk” is the only Jewish aspect of the film, it is Judaism itself which becomes deeply linked with horror. Rather than presenting the fear dybbuk’s fear that they would be cut off from fellow Jews forever, this film presents a fear of the Jew entering non-Jewish society, which contributes to anti-Semitic sentiment. Since the cultural references are lost in such a film, the legend moves from the specific to the general, thus furthering problematizing stereotypes that view the Jew as the monster.
Who is the audience meant to identify with? If the audience is meant to identify with the non-Jewish dad trying to save his non-Jewish daughter, then they participate in otherizing the Jew via the monster.


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