Hester Street

Hester Street

5.0 3
Director: Joan Micklin Silver

Cast: Joan Micklin Silver, Steven Keats, Carol Kane, Mel Howard

     
 

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Among the first releases in the new wave of independent films of the 1970s, writer/director Joan Micklin Silver's portrait of turn-of-the-century New York is also important for its unflinching look at women's issues. Russian Jewish immigrant Gitl (Carol Kane) joins her husband Jake (Steven Keats) in New York after he has gone ahead to establish himself. Jake has…  See more details below

Overview

Among the first releases in the new wave of independent films of the 1970s, writer/director Joan Micklin Silver's portrait of turn-of-the-century New York is also important for its unflinching look at women's issues. Russian Jewish immigrant Gitl (Carol Kane) joins her husband Jake (Steven Keats) in New York after he has gone ahead to establish himself. Jake has quickly assimilated many American customs, much to the dismay of Gitl, who clings to her Old World ways. Gitl's discovery of how Jake was able to finance her trip to America leads to more tension, and Gitl is soon on her own with few resources on which to draw. Although the film performed modestly at the box office, it was a sign of changing times when Kane's quietly assured performance was nominated for an Academy award, a rare recognition by Hollywood of a film made outside the studio system.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
Shooting in black-and-white, using no established name performers, and allowing some characters to speak Yiddish, first-time director Joan Micklin Silver took plenty of chances with her 1975 debut feature. They all paid off, as Hester Street rode a wave of critical acclaim all the way to the Academy awards, where its "star," a then-unknown Carol Kane, was nominated for Best Actress. Silver's independently produced film was among the first off-Hollywood features to break the art house stigma of inaccessibility by telling a genuinely entertaining story whose historical setting proved to have resonance for mid-'70s audiences, especially women who identified with Gitl, the character Kane played. A woman trying to hold together a marriage in the face of unfaithfulness and then trying to build a new life with minimal resources, Gitl was a prototypical feminist heroine. However, Silver's evocation of early 20th century New York and the immigrant experience went beyond any political agenda, giving film audiences hungry for a taste of authenticity in their historical movies a satisfying meal.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/17/2015
UPC:
0738329158729
Original Release:
1975
Rating:
PG
Source:
Kino Video
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:30:00
Sales rank:
15,250

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Steven Keats Jake
Carol Kane Gitl
Mel Howard Bernstein
Dorrie Kavanaugh Mamie
Doris Roberts Kavarsky
Stephen Strimpell Peltner
Lauren Frost Fanny
Paul Freedman Joey
Anna Berger Poultry Woman
Sol Frieder Scribe
Martin Garner Boss
Mordecai Lawner Waiter
Leib Lensky Peddler
Robert Lesser Lawyer
Eda Reiss Merin Rabbi's Wife
Joanna Merlin Jake's Landlady
Lin Shaye Whore
Claudia Silver Feigie
Philip Sterling Mr. Lipman
Zvee Scooler Rabbi

Technical Credits
Joan Micklin Silver Director,Screenwriter
William Bolcom Score Composer
Robert Pusilo Costumes/Costume Designer
Raphael Silver Producer
Raphael D. Stewart Producer
Kenneth Van Sickle Cinematographer
Katherine Wenning Editor

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Hester Street
1. Chapter 1 [10:58]
2. Chapter 2 [11:25]
3. Chapter 3 [12:53]
4. Chapter 4 [16:10]
5. Chapter 5 [9:38]
6. Chapter 6 [10:13]
7. Chapter 7 [9:00]
8. Chapter 8 [8:45]

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Hester Street 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film is so correct as to the life style and events of the time that i hve included this film in my family history as a reference. Many of my family lived in the area and passed on stories of the street merchants and living conditions. Several of my aunts and grandparents were in the tailor, push cart and candy store businesses. A great movie!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Carol Kane triumphs in this exquisite period piece by Joan Micklin Silver. The film persuasively tells the story of a traditional young wife who arrives in America, only to discover that her husband now loves another woman. Slowly, she adapts to her new life in New York and finds the strength to cope with her situation. Scenes in New York's Lower East Side masterfully evoke the colorful old city, even though the film was not shot in color. Joan Micklin Silver's films are very fine indeed. For another treat, see Crossing Delancey.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago