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New York Jewish Film Festival 2011

January 12, 2011 - January 27, 2011


Yiddish: 3 film(s)
Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish
Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness

Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish
Eve Annenberg | USA | 2010 | 91mm
U.S. Premiere
A middle-aged ER nurse—and bitterly lapsed observant Jew—undertakes a Yiddish translation of Shakespeare’s great classic. Meanwhile, her houseguest, also a Hasidic dropout, is “leaking” Kabbalistic magic, and enchants her studio apartment. In what might be the first Yiddish “mumblecore” film, Annenberg creates a parallel universe (aka Williamsburg, Brooklyn), where Romeo and Juliet stem from divergent streams of ultra-orthodox Judaism and speak their lines in street-smart Yiddish.
Eve Annenberg, director, and members of the cast and crew will be in attendance.

preceded by

Seltzer Works
Jessica Edwards | USA | 2010 | 7mm
In the early 1900s, thousands of seltzer deliverymen shlepped heavy glass bottles full of fizzy water to millions of thirsty customers. In this short documentary, the last bottler in Brooklyn fends off the supermarket seltzer take-over and honors the drink’s place in history.
Jessica Edwards, director, will be in attendance at Jan 16 screening.
Sun Jan 16: 9:00pm
Wed Jan 26: 1:15pm

Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness
Joseph Dorman | USA | 2011 | 95mm
World Premiere
Director Joseph Dorman (Arguing the World, NYJFF 1997) returns with this moving portrait of the great Yiddish writer, Sholem Aleichem (1859-1916)—the man whose stories became the basis of the musical Fiddler on the Roof. Using the author’s works and his own life story, the documentary presents a riveting tale of a traditional Jewish world on the cusp of profound change. Ultimately, Laughing in the Darkness reveals Sholem Aleichem’s genius in capturing this world—its darkness, its disorientation—with brilliant humor as he explored the struggle to create a new modern Jewish identity.
Joseph Dorman, director, will be in attendance.
Thu Jan 13: 1:00pm
Thu Jan 13: 6:00pm

Maurice Schwartz | USA | 1939 | 96mm
Maurice Schwartz’s adaptation of the classic Sholem Aleichem play centers on dairyman Tevye’s daughter, who falls in love with the son of a Ukrainian peasant. Her courtship and marriage pit Tevye’s love for his daughter against his deep-seated faith and loyalty to tradition. Tension builds between parental authority and paternal love, tradition, and change, and between peaceful daily life and counterrevolutionary upheaval. Schwartz, a beloved Yiddish theater and stage actor, brings to life a microcosm of the larger world of Russian Jewry in the early 1900s.
Followed by a book-signing with J. Hoberman, author of Bridge of Light: Yiddish Film Between Two Worlds, newly reissued with additional material.
Mon Jan 24: 3:00pm [at The Jewish Museum]

Plan Your Visit

The Jewish Museum - 5th Avenue
1109 5th Ave at 92nd St
New York NY 10128