In 2006 in Paris, Youssouf Fofana kidnapped Ilan Halimi and demanded $500,000 in ransom, convinced that since Halimi was Jewish, he must be rich. As it turned out, the 23-year-old came from a modest background. Held captive for three weeks, he was tortured and beaten to death. Fofana and 26 accomplices were arrested, and their two 2009 trials caused a furor. In the Renaissance, France put an end to the kidnapping of Jews (common enough that Jewish communities set aside a contingency fund to pay ransoms), so how could such a barbaric, anti-Semitic act be committed in this day and age? In an attempt to understand the age-old perceived link between Jewishness and money, the film retraces its origins throughout history: the 11th century ban on Jews owning property and practicing a profession, the requirement by the Church and European authorities that Jews become moneylenders, Judaism’s emphasis on wealth and community, and Nazi propaganda. The hard-hitting Jews and Money also features dozens of interviews—with Halimi’s mother, lawyers for both sides, journalists—that recount the saga of a notorious hate crime and explore its effects on anti-Semitism in France.