A real-life 19th century American western adventure story about Solomon Nunes Carvalho, an observant Sephardic Jew born in 1815 in Charleston, South Carolina. In 1853, traveling with John Fremont's 5th Westward Expedition through Kansas, Colorado, Utah, and California, Carvalho became one of the first photographers to document the sweeping vistas and treacherous terrain of the far American West. Living alongside mountain men, Native Americans, and Mormons, Carvalho overcame enormous odds to produce... [see more] beautiful art: daguerreotypes that became the lens through which the world experienced the West. The film interweaves stunning HD digital and 16mm film landscape cinematography, rare 19th century photographs, Carvalho's surviving artwork and daguerreotypes, and interviews with scholars and artists, including modern day daguerreotypist Robert Shlaer who recreates Carvalho's original daguerreotypes on location. The documentary is narrated by award winning actor Michael Stuhlbarg (Boardwalk Empire, Steve Jobs) with original music by Jamie Saft (composer, Murderball).
The National Center for Jewish Film is an independent, non-profit film archive, distributor and exhibitor. The Center, housed at Brandeis University, owns the world's largest collection of Jewish-content film. Its unique collection includes silent, vaudeville and Yiddish films, newsreels, institutional films, and home movies; the earliest dating back to 1903. The Center's priority is the rescue of rare and endangered film materials and it has restored hundreds of films that document the diversity and vibrancy of Jewish culture. The dynamic films selected for the NATIONAL CENTER FOR JEWISH FILM SHOWCASE are representative of the breadth and depth of the collection's holdings.