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Chaim Pevner

YIDL MITN FIDL

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YIDL MITN FIDL Complete Plot Synopsis by Alex De Leon (Chaim Pevner) The film opens with a series of establishing shots establishing the small town of Kazimierz nad Wisla, (Kazimierz. on the Vistula) a town between Warsaw and Lublin which, at the time (1937) had a large and very old Jewish community. The camera holds on the castle on the hill and then pans to the left over many tiled rooftops coming to rest at last on a high crane shot of the central market square. We see several quick sh...

BARBICAN YIDDISH RETRO, '96

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Chaim Pevner, Film CriticFILM NOTES TO THE BARBICAN YIDDISH FILM RETROSPECTIVE(London, October 12-24, 1996) THE YIDDISH language cinema is nearly unique among world cinema cultures in that it had no specific homeland.  Yiddish films, including “silent Yiddish” films, were produced wherever there were major Yiddish speech communities and a Yiddish theatrical circuit  from which  talent could be recruited.  The majority of Yiddish language films were therefore made in New York or in P...

Israeli comedies add zest to Warsaw Jewish Motifs Fest

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In the past two years the subject matter of this festival concentrated heavily on themes of the Holocaust and Polish-Jewish relations. This year the program is of a spicier variety with a heavier than usual input of films from Israel. The big discovery and surprise so far has been a rib-tickling comedy from Israel entitled "Like a Fish Out of Water" (RT, 56 minutes) by 28 year old helmer Leon Pudovsky. The story centers on a freewheeling Argentine immigrant to Israel, a thoroughly unkosher Lat...

Lelouche, guest of Waesaw Fest on Jewish Motifs

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The third installment of the “Warsaw Film Festival on Jewish Motifs” opened on May 11 with a gala evening sponsored by the French Embassy and the presence of special guest Claude Lelouche whose latest film “Le Courage d’Aimer” (2005) was shown as the curtain raiser. Mr. Lelouche, although not generally perceived as a “Jewish director” is, in fact, of Algerian Jewish heritage and has been a long term friend of Israel. He was also the guest of the Be’er Sheva film festival in Isr...

Berlin prizes announced: Grbavica debut feature wins 2

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And the Winners were...Golden Bear, the big one for best feature film in competition, "GRBAVICA" directed by Jasmila Zbanic of Bosnia. Zbanic has received fairly wide recognition for her documentary films, among them '"Do you remember Sarajevo?". This her feature film debut and the picture focuses on the traumas of the Yugoslavian wars and their current aftermath. This is basically a study of the relationship between a young mother and her twelve year old daughter. The child wants to believe t...

Oscar Boys, Turks in exile and funny english uncles

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During the ten days of the Berlinale most Berlin dailies adorn their front pages with large color photos of celebrity posturings the night before. On Thursday, day number 7 of the fest, however, what was to be seen on all Berlin front pages were shots of men in hooded white spacesuits holding up dead swans fished out of the city lakes, or otherwise attempting to deal with the sudden arrival of the dreaded aviarian flu virus in the midst of the city. Of course, this does not mean that we can exp...

Birdflu alerts upstage Festival on Berlin front pages

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During the ten days of the Berlinale most Berlin dailies adorn their front page with large colour photos of celebrity clowning the night before. On Thursday, day number 7 of the fest, however, what was to be seen on all Berlin front pages were shots of men in hooded white spacesuits holding up dead swans fished out of the city lakes, or otherwise attempting to deal with the sudden arrival of the dreaded aviary virus in the midst of the city. Of course, this does not mean that we can expect to s...

German shocker raises press and viewer hackles n Berlin

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On the eve of Valentine's day -- the day traditionally dedicated to pure and innocent love -- a new German film dedicated to the unadulterated portrayal of violent, sadistic, psychotic, serial rape, and to the proposition that such rapists are incurably deranged, sent shock waves through an audience composed of around 1,000 press reps in the grand festival hall, and evoked a bedlam of boos and catcalls. The title of the film (in competition this year) is "Die Freie Wille" (Free Will) and the dir...

A Very Black Carmen and other films of interest in Berlin

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"U-CARMEN eKHYELITSHA" is an extremely unusual version of the opera Carmen set in a squalid shanty-town "Township", Khyelitsha, near Capetown, South Africa --and sung entirely by African singers in the "click language", Khosa! This black Carmen is a light year beyond the light brown "Carmen Jones" of 1954 which starred Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge and seemed so sucy and racy at the time. For one thing, Pauline Malefane (Carmen) is not a slender Hollywood mannekin type like Dandridge ...

Berlin Bets on political Bears (what else is new)

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POLITICAL FILMS SETTING PACE IN BERLINWhereas last year it was all Hollywood glamour and glitz with such blockbusters as "Cold Mountain", "Monsters" and many more topping the bill, this year political films and films about famous political figures are gathering most of the attention. The hot ticket so far has been German competition entry "Sophie Scholl - The final Days" which takes up the case of a young lady who protested openly against certain actions of the Nazi regime, was subjected to a s...
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