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Event Calendar

Gothic Yiddish Film Night

Sunday, October 31, 2021
6:00 pm8:30 pm
The Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley

Gates open at 6, film begins at 6:30.

Der Dybbuk
New Digital Restoration by The National Center for Jewish Film

Poland, 1937, 123 minutes, B&W, Yiddish with new English subtitles
Directed by Michal Waszynski
Based on the play by S. Ansky
Starring Leon Liebgold & Lili Liliana

Join us for this special event screening of The National Center for Jewish Film’s new digital restoration of this 1937 Yiddish classic, one of the most important and influential Jewish films of all time.

In this mystical tale of star crossed lovers, ill-fated vows, and supernatural possession, two friends tempt fate by betrothing their unborn children. Years later when the pledge is broken and the couple’s love is thwarted, Channon the young lover (Leon Liebgold, Tevye) turns to the dangerous power of the Kabbalah to win back his love (Lili Liliana, Kol Nidre). Made in Poland on the eve of WWII in a stylized, Expressionistic manner that has been called “Hasidic Gothic,” The Dybbuk, based on S. Ansky’s play, brought together the best talents of Polish Jewry.


“Generally considered to be the greatest of Yiddish films…Made in Poland in 1937 in a stylized, Expressionistic manner that has been called “Hasidic Gothic,” The Dybbuk is haunting and atmospheric, a chilling supernatural romance that functions as a privileged glimpse into the past, to a time when rabbis regularly performed prodigious miracles, when spirits of the dead wandered the Earth, and when tampering with the supernatural inevitably led to the most dire results.”
-- Kenneth Turan, Never Coming to a Theater Near You: A Celebration of a Certain Kind of Movie

"One of the most solemn attestations to the mystic powers of the spirit the imagination has ever purveyed to the film reel."
--Parker Tyler, Classics of the Foreign Film

"The most ambitious Yiddish movie of its day. In fact, The Dybbuk is a time capsule... Drama intensifies a given moment, film freezes it. Whatever the movie's original intentions, events have dictated that its themes will be read as harbingers of exile and oblivion."
--J. Hoberman, Bridge of Light: Yiddish Film Between Two Worlds

“The Dybbuk” needs to be experienced.”
--Phil Hall, Film Threat


• Boston Society of Film Critics Award - “Best Discovery/Re-Discovery”

• One of World's Top Movies of All Time selected by Kenneth Turan, film critic for Los Angeles Times and NPR's Morning Edition, in his book Not to Be Missed: Fifty-Four Favorites from a Lifetime of Film.


Tsaddik of Miropole - Avrom Morewski
The Messenger - Isaac Samberg
Sender - Moyshe Lipman
Leah, His Daughter - Lili Liliana
Frayde, His Sister - Dina Halpern
Nisn - Gershon Lemberger
Khonnon, His Son - Leon Liebgold
Note - Max Bozyk
Zalmen - Shmuel Landau
Nakhmen - Samuel Bronecki
Menashe, His Son - M. Messinger
Reb Mendel, His Tutor - Zishe Katz
Mikhoel, The Gabbai - Abraham Kurtz
Meyer, The Shammes - David Lederman
Dancer of Death - Judith Berg


DIRECTOR Michal Waszynski | PRODUCTION COMPANY Feniks | SCREENPLAY Alter Kacyzne & Mark Arnshteyn | BASED ON THE ORIGINAL PLAY BY S. Ansky | SCRIPT A. Stern | ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Mark Arnshteyn | HISTORICAL ADVISOR Majer Balaban | CINEMATOGRAPHY Albert Wywerka | MUSIC Henekh Kon | CANTORIAL MUSIC Gershon Sirota | CHOREOGRAPHY Judith Berg | SET DESIGN Rotmil & Norris | PHOTOGRAPHY A. Arnold | CAMERA L. Zajaczkowski | LABORATORY Falanga

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