Filmmaker Isaac Artenstein likes to tell good stories, especially unknown ones, and if those stories inform and entertain others, even better.
He feels that the Jews of the Southwest have an untold story as the narrative has been mostly about the Anglo westward expansion; whereas, other immigrants are also part of the history. He wants to show one of the missing pieces of the puzzle.
To that end, he’s working on a four-part series of documentaries, “Frontier Jews,” which covers Jews of the Southwest, including New Mexico, San Diego, Arizona (specificially, Tucson), and El Paso, Texas. The documentary on New Mexico, “Challah Rising in the Desert” has just been completed and the one on San Diego, “To the Ends of the Earth,” is near completion.
Artenstein was born in San Diego and grew up as a child of the border. He went to school in Tijuana and high school in Chula Vista. Fluent in both English and Spanish, he moves comfortably between both worlds. In addition, with an Ashkenazi father and Sephardic mother, he was also exposed to the different aspects of Judaism, which has served him well while making the documentaries. [Read more…]