Carvalho’s Journey


carvalhosjourney2-1600x900-c-defaultPhiladelphia Premiere
Monday, May 2
7:30 pm
Location: The Gershman Y
Director: Steve Rivo
Genre: Documentary
Country: USA
Year: 2015
Running Time: 85 min
Language: English

Get your riding boots on and hoist your saddles up, ladies and gents. You are about to embark on an unprecedented journey to the American Western Frontier.

CARVALHO’S JOURNEY tells the amazing story of Solomon Nunes Carvalho (1815-1897), an observant Sephardic Jew born in Charleston, South Carolina (and who later moved to Philadelphia), and his life as a groundbreaking adventurer, portrait painter, and photographer.

When famed explorer John Frémont set out through the Rocky Mountains to find a transcontinental railroad route, he recruited Carvalho to document the trek using daguerreotyping, a then-recent photographic innovation that captured images on a silver-coated plate. Carvalho, who never fancied himself an explorer, understood that despite his inexperience and the sacrifices such a journey would entail, the expedition would name him among the first photographers (certainly the first Jewish photographer) to document the sweeping vistas and breathtaking terrain of the American West. Surviving grueling conditions and recurrent food shortages, Carvalho recorded the treacherous details of his 2,400-mile journey in his daily journal entries (voiced by Golden Globe nominee Michael Stuhlbarg of Boardwalk Empire, Hugo, A Serious Man), excerpts of which he later included in his bestselling 1857 memoir, Incidents of Travel and Adventure in the Far West.

Written, produced, and directed by award-winning documentarian Steve Rivo, CARVALHO’S JOURNEY gracefully highlights the vital contributions of Carvalho using rare archival photos and period etchings, interviews with scholars and writers, original landscape cinematography, and re-creations of the daguerreotype process. Together, these weave a compelling narrative of the expansion of the American continent as seen through the eyes of a pioneering Jewish-American artist.

CRITICS PICK! The #1 film to see at New York Jewish Film Festival
– Time Out New York

“A great story…stunning visuals…a very rare treat.”

– Huffington Post

“One of the best films at this year’s New York Jewish Film Festival is one that should really be seen on the big screen. This is pure movie adventure. Truly the stuff of legend. I absolutely loved this film. Go see it.”
– Unseen Films

“It sounds like the scenario for a Jewish remake of ‘The Revenant,’ and there are more than a few passing similarities, but the spiritual and cross-cultural odyssey involved is more benign and more fruitful, and the result, while not as portentous as that of the Oscar-nominated adventure, is no less far-reaching in its implications.”
– George Robinson, The Jewish Week

Sponsored by Lynne and Harold Honickman, Jan Felman and Harvey Schwartz

Special Guest: Director Steve Rivo

Community Partners:

ASMP Philadelphia Logo   Historical Society of Pennsylvania Logo      Twenty-Two Gallery Logo      Philadelphia Photo Arts Center Logo

Brandeis 2      The Photo Review Logo            100_window

Tinsel and Tine LogoDa Vinci    PAFA

logo_gpfo     Temple University Photography Department Logo The University of the Arts Photography Department Logo