Springtime in Toronto can mean only one thing: the Jewish Film Festival is upon us! From May 7-15, Ashkenaz is thrilled once again to partner with the TJFF in the presentation of two films at this year’s festival.
SHOLEM ALEICHEM: LAUGHING IN THE DARKNESS
CANADIAN PREMIERE · USA 2011, 95 MIN
DIRECTOR: JOSEPH DORMAN (in attendance, May 12 screening) Filmmaker Joseph Dorman (Arguing the World) has made an epic documentary on the great Sholem Aleichem, the iconic Yiddish writer whose stories became the basis of the legendary musical Fiddler on the Roof. Through intelligent and inventive use of narration, readings of his works, archival photos and film clips, the film brings to life the world in which Sholem Aleichem lived and observed, a traditional Jewish world on the cusp of modernity. It transports the viewer from Solomon Rabinowitz’s birth in 1859 to a fairly well-to-do family, through to his years of financial difficulties and his emergence as a giant of Yiddish literature. Also features interviews with contemporary leaders of the Yiddish cultural world, as well as Sholem Aleichem’s granddaughter.
Thursday May 12 · 5:15 PM · Bloor Cinema
Sunday May 15 · 3:00 PM · Cineplex Odeon Sheppard Centre Cinemas
SONG OF THE LODZ GHETTO · CANADA 2010, 120 MIN
DIRECTOR: DAVID KAUFMAN (in attendance) Klezmer supergroup Brave Old World’s haunting musical program of songs from the Lodz Ghetto provides the framework for David Kaufman’s definitive new documentary about the Lodz Ghetto, once the second largest ghetto in Poland. Combining chilling narrative, evocative music, and unforgettable photographs, this is the first major film to feature extensive interviews with survivors of the Holocaust from Lodz. Focusing on the lives of two historical figures central to the Lodz Ghetto story – the beloved and popular street-singer Yankele Herszkowicz, and the despotic, Nazi-appointed Jewish leader of the ghetto Chaim Rumkowski – the documentary also explores in detail daily life in the Lodz Ghetto and the uplifting role that music and culture played for ghetto dwellers who faced the constant presence of terror and death.
Sunday May 8 • 3:00 PM Cineplex Odeon Sheppard Centre Cinemas
All TJFF tickets are available by calling 416-599-8433 or visiting www.tjff.com for online orders or info on in-person purchase locations/hours