fbpx Itzhak | Gene Siskel Film Center
Film Series: Runs & Limited Engagements


2017, Alison Chernick, USA, 80 min.

Show Times

  • Fri, Apr 6th 2:00pm
  • Fri, Apr 6th 6:15pm
  • Sat, Apr 7th 3:15pm
  • Sat, Apr 7th 7:45pm
  • Sun, Apr 8th 3:00pm
  • Mon, Apr 9th 6:00pm
  • Tue, Apr 10th 8:15pm
  • Wed, Apr 11th 6:15pm
  • Thu, Apr 12th 8:15pm
Chicago premiere!

"Briskly entertaining…Good music and good company make ITZHAK a pleasure." - Dennis Harvey, Variety.

ITZHAK is a warm and intimate portrait of Itzhak Perlman, widely considered the greatest violinist of his time. We learn of the Israeli-born virtuoso's battle with the polio that has hobbled (but in no way restrained) him since age four, and we see his breakthrough performance on the Ed Sullivan Show at age thirteen. But ITZHAK is less a biographical look-back than a present-tense chance to hang out with the effervescent and still very active 72-year-old. We tag along as he zips around Manhattan in his motorized wheelchair, tells corny jokes, eats Chinese take-out with fellow virtuosi Evgeny Kissin and Mischa Maiskey, rehearses a Madison Square Garden concert with Billy Joel, accepts an award from President Obama, teaches a class at Juilliard, takes his precious Strad to a violin restorer, and shares a bottle of wine with old pal Alan Alda (also a polio survivor). Two anchors in this whirlwind are his close relationship with his wife Toby and the abiding importance of his Jewish identity, with a family Sabbath dinner providing the film's final scene. There's plenty of music, too, from the National Anthem (performed at a Mets game) to Vivaldi and Schubert to the "Theme from Schindler's List" to a jazzy session with the Klezmatics. In English and Hebrew with English subtitles. DCP digital. (MR)

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