Directed by master of film noir Edgar G. Ulmer (“Detour,” “Black Cat”) on the eve of World War II, this 1939 Yiddish classic is revered as one of the greatest shtetl films. Set in the fictional village of Glupsk, near Odesa, Ukraine, David Opatoshu (“Exodus,” “Torn Curtain”) and Helen Beverley (“Green Fields”) are luminous as Fiskhe and Hodel, an impoverished young couple who dream of a future free from the shtetl’s poverty, corruption and old-world prejudices.
Both a romantic tale and a social critique, the film’s expressionist set design and cinematography highlight the film’s prescient awareness of the darkness soon to devour European Jewry. For contemporary audiences the film is especially resonant in its depiction of superstition over science amidst a cholera outbreak. One of the most important films in The National Center for Jewish Film’s archive collection, “The Light Ahead” (“Fishke der Krumer”) has been newly restored in 4K digital from NCJF’s 35mm original materials.
“An astonishing artifact that is equal parts vaudeville schtick, Talmudic exegesis, and ghetto melodrama.”
New England premiere of new digital restoration. Q&A with NCJF directors Sharon Pucker Rivo and Lisa Rivo to follow the screening.
Preceded by “Jewish Life in Lwow”: This rare 1939 portrait of the daily lives of Jews in Lwow, Poland (now Lviv, Ukraine), home to a thriving Jewish community before World War II, is one of a handful of surviving films from Warsaw-based filmmakers Shaul Goskind and Yitzhak Goskind. Full of images of stylish women, thriving markets, parks and promenades, this short documentary captures a prosperous world on the precipice of obliteration by the coming Nazi invasion.
Directors: Shaul Goskind and Yitzhak Goskind, Poland, 1939, 10 minutes, Yiddish with English subtitles.
New England premiere of new digital restoration.+ More... - Less...
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