Film by Vladimir Mayakovsky about Jews in Crimea, 1927

Documentary “The Jews on the Land” was filmed in the USSR in the late 1920s.  It was part of a campaign against anti-Semitism. The film shows how the Jewish workers colonize the Black Sea area and Crimean lands. The film was made with the participation of notable avant-garde figures Viktor Shklovsky, Vladimir Mayakovsky, and Lilia Brik, who were committed to the project of Jewish emancipation.

The funding for “Jews on Land” came from OZET (the Association for the Agricultural Settlement of Jewish Workers), which also commissioned many of the printed posters and ephemera on view in the exhibition. This agitprop film about Jewish agricultural communes in Crimea chronicles the extreme poverty of post-WWI shtetl life, and the idealistic drive to re-settle Soviet Jews into a self-governing, agricultural way of life.