After a successful launch of “Yiddish: a tale of survival” at the New York City International Film Festival, the documentary will screen at the Montreal World film festival (MFF).
The resilience of Yiddish since the Holocaust is revealed by exploring three Yiddish performers’ lives and careers. The first, Shmuel Atzmon, an Israeli actor who at the age of fifty, after a lifetime spent in the Hebrew Theatre in Israel, founded the Yiddishpiel Repertory Theater in Tel Aviv. The second, Bryna Wasserman, heir to the legacy of her mother, Dora Wasserman, who championed Yiddish Theatre in Montreal, has continued her mother’s legacy and shepherded it to the twenty-first century, by commissioning new Yiddish plays, and also initiating the International Yiddish Theatre Festival in Montreal. And lastly, we meet singer and actress Milena Kartowski, who at the young age of 23 has discovered Yiddish and is helping to bring it to a new generation.
The film explores the paths that brought each artist to Yiddish and how it has shaped their lives. In the words of one reviewer, “The film is deeply moving and surprisingly entertaining. Watching it, one hears the sounds of Yiddish’s almost forgotten language from the echoes of Sholem Aleichem to the young people’s YaYa group performance, Raisins and Almonds. We are reminded of the legacy of Montreal’s Jewish community and Yiddish culture worldwide.”
This subject is particularly poignant in Quebec, where awareness of the vulnerability of culture and language is so keen.
The film will be screened twice at the Montreal World Film Festival:
Thursday, August 29th at 7:30 pm
and Sunday, September 1st at 10 am in the Quartier Latin Cinema: Salle 15
There will be a Q&A after the screening with Abigail Hirsch, the filmmaker and Bryna Wasserman will be in attendance at the Sunday Morning screening.