[Marxism] Sholem Aleichem; Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Jul 9 12:08:57 MDT 2011

Just by coincidence it would seem, two films opened yesterday in New 
York that would be of particular interest to any Jew who, like me, has 
affection for the Yiddish language and more generally those who are 
curious about Jewish culture. The more successful of the two is the 
documentary “Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness” playing at 
Lincoln Plaza Cinema. Since it persuaded me to read some of the fiction 
of a writer I had never considered worth my time, one can say that at 
least one goal of the film’s makers had been achieved.

The other is playing a couple of blocks away at Lincoln Center’s 
brand-new Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. Titled “Romeo and Juliet in 
Yiddish”, it is a Godardesque attempt at showing the attempts of an 
aspiring Yiddishist, played by writer-director Eve Annenberg, at 
creating a Yiddish version of Shakespeare’s classic with actors drawn 
from the Satmar sect in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood. Since the 
cast is made up primarily of young people who broke with the Satmar 
sect, whose real-life struggles to define themselves are woven into the 
film, it is noteworthy on that basis alone.


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