Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness

Friday, July 08, 2011

Filmmaker Joseph Dorman discusses his film “Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness,” a portrait of the great writer who created an entirely new form of literature and whose stories became the basis of the Broadway musical “Fiddler on the Roof.” Sholem Aleichem captured a Jewish world in crisis and on the cusp of profound change, and he helped create a new modern Jewish identity. “Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness” opens July 8 at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas.


Joseph Dorman
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Comments [2]

Amy from Manhattan

There are still people working to keep Yiddish alive--there are even Israeli Yiddishists! In fact, I've met 2 young Israelis who are in PhD programs in Yiddish. But I don't know if any of them are creating new literary works. If anything, creativity in Yiddish today may lie more in the musical field, w/the revival of klezmer.

Oh, & in Arabic, it's "salaam aleikum," not "aleichem."

Jul. 08 2011 01:20 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

The terrible poverty and persecutions suffered by many Jews in the "Pale of Settlement" in Czarist Russia during the last decades of the 19th century drove many onto 4 different distinct paths: materialism; socialism; zionism; and ghettoism. A large number chose to emigrate to the "Golden Country" America. A large number dropped judiaism in favor of a new religion led by Rabbi Karl Marx. A much smaller number chose to try to build a new Jewish society in the "Holy Land." But a significant number simply dug in to maintain their 18th century version of Judaism called Hassidism. All of these tensions pulling in all directions is the climate in which Aleichem wrote.

Jul. 08 2011 01:09 PM

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