A Scattering of Seeds: The Creation of Canada
Episodes Search Site Map The Series Partners White Pine White Pine Home

A Sephardic Journey: Solly Lévy... From Morocco to Montréal
Director's Notes
Director: Don Winkler

Location: Montreal, Quebec

Canadian culture has been enriched by the contributions of immigrants from around the world. Film maker Donald Winkler, in his remarkable documentary "A Sephardic Journey," gives us a glimpse into the life of one such immigrant, Solly Lévy. Through the film, the camera allows us to become part of Solly Lévy's life, albeit just for one special day, where we learn about him through the words of Solly himself, his past students, friends and family.

Solly and his wife Madeleine are Sephardic Jews who came to Canada from Tangiers, Morocco, in August of 1968. Despite a history dating back five hundred years, the Sephardic Jews of Morocco left when things took a turn for the worse for them there after the Six Days War between Israel and her Arab neighbours. The Israelis won the war, and thereafter a deep anger, resentment, humiliation and hurt felt by the Morocaans began to be directed towards Jews within their borders. Thousands of Sephardic Jews living there no longer felt safe, and left. Amongst those who fled were Solly and Madeleine Lévy.

Bringing their love for the arts with them, they arrived in Montreal in 1968, where Solly became a language teacher. In his early years in Québec, he developed a passion for the French Canadian culture, a passion which he passed on to his students, many of whom were first generation Canadians. He became a writer, radio host and became involved in the local theatre, where as director he launched many of what were traditionally thought of as being "French Canadian" plays, using immigrant actors.

Through his love for the arts, Solly Lévy has acted as a bridge between cultures, and by doing this enriched the lives of those he has touched, as well as the city of Montreal. He has added yet another colour to the fabric of the Canadian mosaic.

Top of page.