An Evening with Bernard-Henri Lévy

Dir. Bernard-Henri Lévy
Documentary France / Iraq 2016-2017 English

Tuesday, January 236:15 PM Edlavitch DCJCC On Rush*

Screening note:

This event was postponed from September 26, 2017 to January 23, 2018


*Rush indicates that we’re sold out of advanced tickets for this screening. A rush line will form 1 hour prior to show time. About 5 minutes before the scheduled start time, ticket-buyers from the Rush Line will be admitted based on availability inside the theater.

Renowned French philosopher, activist, writer (The Genius of Judaism), and filmmaker Bernard-Henri Lévy offers a special presentation of his two most recent documentaries, Peshmerga and The Battle of Mosul.

In between the screenings, Lévy will be joined on stage by the CEO of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, Gil Preuss, for an in-depth conversation on the implications of the September 2017 Kurdistan independence referendum vote; the escalation of violence in Iraq, the responses of neighboring countries and responsibilities of the international community in this conflict.

6:15pm – Peshmerga (2016)
7:45pm – Bernard-Henri Lévy in conversation
9:00pm – The Battle of Mosul (2017)



Dir. Bernard-Henri Lévy
France (2016)
Kurdish, Arabic, English and French with English Subtitles
Runtime: 92min
In 2015, Bernard-Henri Lévy sought to understand the psychology and culture of those embroiled with ISIS in the Middle East. Accompanied by a team of cameramen, Lévy traveled over 650 miles of the frontline separating Iraqi Kurdistan from Islamic State troops. The Kurdish fighters he encounters in Mosul and the Sinjar Mountains demonstrate heroic resolve in their fight against jihadi fundamentalism, and relay unforgettable and harrowing stories that give human dimension to a conflict with immense global implications.
Dir. Bernard-Henri Lévy
France, Iraq (2017)
Kurdish, Arabic, English and French with English Subtitles
Runtime: 53min
The film opens on October 17, 2016, the first day of the battle to liberate Mosul from the Islamic State. It ends in mid-January 2017 with the complete liberation of the eastern half of the city, including the spot on the Tigris where the Prophet Jonah is buried, a place of significance for the three Abrahamic religions.Whether in the company of the Kurds or of the Iraqi Golden Division Special Forces, Bernard-Henri Lévy and his crew were present at every crucial step in the battle. Throughout the film, a question hangs in the air: Will the imminent fall of the capital of the Islamic State spell its definitive defeat?

Co-presented by Washington Kurdish Institute


Bernard-Henri Lévy is a philosopher, activist, and filmmaker. His most recent book, The Genius of Judaism, was published in January 2017 by Random House. New York Times Bestsellers include American Vertigo, Barbarism with a Human Face, and Who Killed Daniel Pearl? His writing has appeared in a wide range of publications throughout Europe and the United States. His films include the documentaries Bosna!, The Oath of Tobruk, Peshmerga and The Battle of Mosul. Lévy is co-founder of the antiracist group SOS Racisme. He has served on diplomatic missions for the French government.

Gil Preuss is the CEO of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. Prior to joining Federation in August 2017, Gil worked at Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston for 13 years, most recently as the Executive Vice President. In this role, he oversaw strategic planning, financial resource development and community impact. During his tenure, Gil led CJP’s two recent strategic plans, which helped reimagine the role of a Jewish Federation in the Boston area.  Prior to his work at the Boston Federation, Gil was an Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resources at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University.


  • “Peshmerga,” [is] truly enthralling and instructive. In a context of widespread fear after the attacks and mass killings regularly orchestrated by the jihadist group Islamic State, this very well documented homage to an irreducible group of freedom fighters should arouse the curiosity of those seeking perspective on geopolitical issues.Variety
  • Peshmerga, it should be noted, is an excellent and gripping documentary: fast-paced, formally dexterous, harrowing and skeptically probing while also being very humane. The “sequel,” The Battle of Mosul, is even better as a cinematic work and is also much more brutal than its predecessor.Tablet







This event finished on January 24, 2018.