Bridge of Light: Yiddish Film between Two Worlds

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Published to great acclaim in 1991, J. Hoberman’s Bridge of Light is now back in print with a new foreword and final chapter discussing recent research, rediscoveries, and restorations. Also includes the documentary The Yiddish Cinema (60 min., DVD), narrated by David Mamet.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Bridge of Light, J. Hoberman’s beautifully mounted and superbly researched survey of the entire range of Yiddish filmmaking, is not simply a study of a small corpus of often interesting films, but a tribute, indeed a monument, to a world lost forever in the ashes of history.”—Film Quarterly

“Prodigiously researched and critically astute, this is a readable work of scholarship that takes a well-earned place as the most authoritative word on a curious corner of film history.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review

“J. Hoberman’s classic 1991 work on Yiddish film remains essential, enhanced by a new foreword, final chapter and a DVD of the documentary film The Yiddish Cinema. This excellent, engaging book is required reading for anyone interested in Yiddish and Jewish film and theater. It is sophisticated and accessible, providing a comprehensive overview of Yiddish film and its social and artistic context. Hoberman’s detailed research and rich commentaries are accompanied by wonderful pictures.”—Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter

Library Journal
The era of Yiddish films extends from about 1881 to 1948 and includes both World Wars, a period Hoberman ( Vulgar Modernism , LJ 10/15/91) calls the most cataclysmic in Jewish history. Moving chronologically and then back and forth between Eastern Europe and the United States, Hoberman does an excellent job retelling the history of each film and recounting the political, economic, and artistic circumstances of the Jewish communities of the era. He offers limited artistic evaluation, and instead stresses the historical or cultural importance of the movie. This scholarly work is essential for Jewish or Yiddish culture collections, and it is also a good choice for academic libraries with an extensive interest in film.-- Marianne Cawley, Kingwood Branch Lib., Tex.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781584658702
  • Publisher: Dartmouth College Press
  • Publication date: 7/13/2010
  • Series: Interfaces: Studies in Visual Culture
  • Edition description: Updated edition with DVD
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 1,069,792
  • Product dimensions: 7.98 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

J. HOBERMAN is senior film critic at The Village Voice. He is the author of numerous books including Entertaining America: Jews, Movies and Broadcasting (with Jeffrey Shandler).

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Table of Contents

Foreword to the Updated Edition
Acknowledgments to the Updated Edition
Author’s Note
Introduction: A Brivele der Mamen
Wandering Stars
Romance in the Ghetto
“The Face of the Earth Will Change”
Out of Galicia
Miracles on the Vistula
Yiddish Modernism and Jewish Luck
The Prince of Second Avenue
Making It in America
Once Upon a Time in the Ukraine
The Polish Forest
The Theater of the Future
Jews of Steel
The Faryidisht Film
Between Rusland and Daytshland
“We’re on Our Way”
The Greening of Yiddish Film
The Cantor’s Sons
On the Edge of the Abyss
Without a Home
Phantom Europe
Married to America
The Living Remnant
A Post-Yiddish Cinema
Backward into the Real Past, Forward into Endless Time
Appendixes: Joseph Burstyn’s Documentaries
Partial Yiddish Talkies
Recycled Yiddish Films
Notes on Sources
Selected Bibliography
Photograph Credits
The DVD documentary The Yiddish Cinema is at the end of the book

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