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Frankel Center Event – Secrets Film Series

March 24, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm EDT


Join the Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies for a hybrid film series on the topic of “Secrets.”

Documenting Secret Origins
Dr. Deborah Porter, University of Washington, Seattle
March 10, 4pm
Zoom Registration: https://myumi.ch/G11Qg
North Quad Room 2435

Drawing from my research on the impact of family secrets on psychological functioning and organization, Dr. Porter approaches Michal Weits’ Blue Box and Shir Newman’s How to Say Silence as cultural objects that have much to offer researchers interested in human behavior and motivation. She calls attention to the films’ tacit illumination of a cultural psychology that lies at the foundation of Israelite self-construal and expression. Situating these remarkable films within a broader context of transgenerationally transmitted trauma and a psychology of secrets enhances and deepens our appreciation of the films’ palliative effect.

March 17, 4pm
Screening of “Blue Box” by Michal Weits
Chemistry Building Room 1800
Virtual stream registration: https://forms.gle/UMbR5kqQyYEvz5ay9
The link will be available to stream March 17-20

March 24, 4pm
Screening of “How to Say Silence” by Shir Newman
Chemistry Building Room 1800
Virtual stream registration: https://forms.gle/qPARJYoLajxT7jpL7
The link will be available to stream March 24-27

March 25, 12pm
Virtual Panel
Zoom Registration: https://myumi.ch/RWWR8
The film screenings will be followed by a virtual panel with Deborah Porter and both of the films’ directors, Michal Weitz and Shir Newman.

Trained as a Sinologist, Deborah Porter’s interdisciplinary research on the impact of shameful family secrets on cultural production spans a wide swath of time and geography, including Early China, and fifteenth-and sixteenth-century Western Europe, Russia and Korea. She has authored From Deluge to Discourse: Myth, History and the Generation of Chinese Fiction (SUNY 1996); Collective Trauma and the Psychology of Secrets in Transnational Film (Routledge 2018); and most recently The Evolution of Chinese Filiality: Insights from the Neurosciences (Routledge 2022).

Michal Weits is an Israeli documentary director and producer, studied at the Sam Spiegel Film & Television School. Former head producer of the leading Israeli documentary Channel 8 (HOT network), in charge of highly acclaimed films: “The Law in These Parts”, “5 Broken Cameras”, “The Flat”, and many more. In 2013 Weits Founded ‘Tape Runners’, an independent production company. ‘Tape Runners’ titles include Production: “WALL” (director: Moran Ifergan), winner for the best documentary, DocAviv film festival 2017. Distribution: “The Decent One”, “No Place on Earth” and more. BLUE BOX is Weits’ debut film as a director.

Shir Newman, 30, is a director and photographer who graduated from Kibbutzim College in cinema. She is a founding member of “Bush” collective for queer-feminist art and works as a coordinator for community arts programs and gallery director.


March 24, 2022
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm EDT
Event Category:


University of Michigan Frankel Center for Judaic Studies
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Chemistry Building Room 1800
Ann Arbor, 48109 United States
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