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Streaming January 13-25, 2023 Digital Screening Room

USA | 70 minutes | 2022

Levys of Monticello

Florida Premiere

This fascinating chronicle of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello residence, just outside of Charlottesville, reveals a missing chapter of American Jewry and explores this complex symbol of Democracy. Designed by Jefferson, built and tended by slaves, the palatial plantation served as a presidential retreat, retirement home, and Jefferson’s final resting place. Sold due to mounting debts, Uriah Phillips Levy, a Jewish naval officer and fervent believer in Jeffersonian ideals, became its unlikely caretaker. When historical preservation was all but unheard of, Levy’s family restored and saved the estate from ruin. The story behind this national treasure confronts the stain of ongoing racism and anti-Semitism that remain part of our national narrative.

Accompanying the film premiere is a discussion with director Steven Pressman and moderator Gary Phillip Zola, the Executive Director of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA). To view the conversation pleaseclick here.

Director's Bio

Directed by Steven Pressman

Director Photo
Steven Pressman was born and raised in Los Angeles and received a degree in political science at the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to becoming a filmmaker, he worked for many years as a newspaper and magazine journalist in Los Angeles, Washington DC, and San Francisco. His first documentary film, 50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus, premiered on HBO in 2013 and was nominated for an Emmy Award. In 2020, Steven’s second documentary feature film, Holy Silence, received its world premiere at the Miami Jewish Film Festival.

Cast and Credits


Steven Pressman


Steven Pressman


David Sperling


Richard Levien


Amthongy Giles, Jackie Judd, Peter Riegert

Film Info






70 minutes


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