fbpx The Last Klezmer: Leopold Kozlowski, His Life and Music | Gene Siskel Film Center
Film Series: Runs & Limited Engagements

The Last Klezmer: Leopold Kozlowski, His Life and Music

1994, Yale Strom, USA, 85 min.

Show Times

  • Fri, Jan 31st 2:00pm
  • Sun, Feb 2nd 3:45pm
New restoration! Yale Strom in person!

"Affectingly homemade and quirky...neither sentimental nor simplistic."—J. Hoberman, Village Voice

"THE LAST KLEZMER couldn't have more modest trappings, but the emotion and insight it beams could hardly be more substantial."—Lloyd Sachs, Chicago Sun-Times

"Klezmer" refers to both a practitioner and a style of festive Jewish band music, rooted in prewar Eastern Europe. Recently restored to commemorate its 25th anniversary, THE LAST KLEZMER is a portrait of Leopold Kozlowski of Krakow, the last active klezmer trained in the original prewar tradition. Kozlowski is no relic but a robust, Falstaffian figure, brimming with energy and enthusiasm. The filmmakers accompany him on an emotional visit (his first in fifty years) to the village where he was raised, the nearby sites where his family was murdered, and the forests where he fought with partisan units. After the war, Kozlowski remained in Poland, composing, conducting, and performing, continually finding new outlets for his talents whenever discrimination closed off the old ones. THE LAST KLEZMER is a survivor's tale, filled with laughter and tears, as infectious and unabashedly emotional as the musical tradition it celebrates. In English, Yiddish, Polish, and Russian with English subtitles. New 2K DCP digital restoration. (MR)

Director Yale Strom is scheduled to appear for audience discussion on Sunday, moderated by Arnie Bernstein, writer and teacher, and author of Swastika Nation: Fritz Kuhn and the Rise and Fall of the German-American Bund..

Play Trailer