SHOLEM ALEICHEM: LAUGHING IN THE DARKNESS
- SHOLEM ALEICHEM:
- LAUGHING IN THE DARKNESS
- 2011, Joseph Dorman, USA, 93 min.
"★★★1/2 Wonderfully rich...Dorman's touch is sure, his pacing fleet and his chorus of voices marvelous."
—Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"Much more than a documentary biography...It is a rich, beautifully organized and illustrated modern history of Eastern European Jewry."
—Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Critically acclaimed and a surprise box-office hit, SHOLEM ALEICHEM brings to life the Yiddish-language author whose timeless stories of shtetl life inspired Fiddler on the Roof. Choosing to write in a disreputable language with no literary tradition, Aleichem forged a vividly vernacular style that captured with humor and humanity the essence of European Jewry during a period of tremendous upheaval. His own remarkable life mirrored those upheavals, including impoverished youth, elopement with a rich man daughter's, disastrous career as a speculator, narrow escape from pogroms, and immigration to America where his plays flopped but his 1916 funeral was attended by 200,000 mourners. Aleichem's story and his stories are richly illustrated by gorgeous archival photos and interpreted by a lively group of voice-actors, experts, and admirers. Music by John Zorn. HDCAM video. (MR)