After 3 years, Sukkah City—the sukkah-building competition that prompted hundreds of architects from around the world to compete in redesigning the traditional 3,000 year-old sukkah—is back in a newer, more narrative, more 2-dimensional form: a documentary.
Sukkah City (the movie) captures the jury’s debates, the construction of the winning designs, and their exhibition in Union Square. Through interviews with the designers and fly-on-the-wall documentation of the selection process, viewers witness top architects, academics, and critics jump into the millennia-long debate of what constitutes a sukkah.
As with any good Jewish argument, the essential nature of the issue is disputed. What makes for a dwelling? How do you define permanence? Filmmaker Jason Hutt follows Sukkah City co-founder Joshua Foer to his Connecticut home to investigate and explore the concepts of time and architecture, in both Jewish and secular contexts.
But the film’s highlight comes from New Yorkers commenting on the strange, fantastical sukkahs set up along their daily commute. “It looks like a clubhouse,” one teenage girl says. “It’s inspired me to want to build my own.”
SUKKAH CITY – Trailer from Oxbow Lake Films on Vimeo.
See our take on Sukkah City 2010 in Union Square: