While rattling through the bustling streets of New York City in a yellow cab filmmaker Marc Levin (Slam) discovered the idea for his next film from an unlikely source. Striking up a conversation with his Egyptian taxi driver Levin was unnerved when the conversation turned to the events of September 11 2001. Angrily informing the filmmaker that he believed no Jews had died in the terrorist attacks on that day the cabbie explained that they had all been warned of the event in advance so they could stay safely home.
Levin subsequently turned to the 100-year-old book The Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion, which was exposed as a forgery in the 1920s but is still followed by a disconcertingly large number of anti-Semites across the globe. After examining the book-which was furtively written by the Russian Secret Police and was alleged to be the meeting minutes of a group of Jews who were hell-bent on world domination-Levin decided to explore some of the protocols in his film.
Traveling across America with his father Levin encounters various hate-filled figures and attempts to understand their feelings toward Jews. His most entertaining Michael Moore-like excursions take place in New York City where he encounters people whose oddball behavior does a fine job of discrediting their views and attends a discussion group about Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. However these moments are tempered by some jaw-dropping footage of an Egyptian TV mini-series based on the Protocols book and the Malaysian prime minister paraphrasing from the pages in 2003. Creating a fascinating and worthwhile film Levin sensibly discounts various crackpot theories but makes it clear that many of the people who spread anti-Semitic feeling remain worryingly influential.
"A powerful, must-see documentary that shines a new light on an old tragedy." -- Indiewire
"A valuable and frightening survey of contemporary anti-Semitism." -- New York Post
"Ghoulishly funny and smartly sobering." -- Newsday
"a compelling case that authenticates our greatest fears." -- San Francisco Examiner
"Protocols of Zion makes its case expertly and powerfully." -- The New York Times