Klezmer on Fish Street (2004)
Poland was once a hub of European Jewish culture, and in recent years, the nation has witnessed a rebirth of interest in Jewish music and art, as well as increased awareness of the issues and legacy of the Holocaust. But, while a new generation of Poles have embraced klezmer, the upbeat Yiddish folk-dance music often called "Jewish jazz," the fact is that, in the wake of the Axis pogroms of World War II and continued immigration, there are precious few Jews still remaining in Poland, and the few who attend klezmer concerts there are often tourists who taking part in packaged tours that focus on Poland's Jewish legacy and memorials to the Holocaust. The Klezmaniacs are an American klezmer ensemble who were booked to play in Krakow as part of a festival of Jewish music held there; vocalist Shira Shazeer invited her grandmother, Alta Frohman, a Polish Jew who survived the Holocaust, to accompany the group as a translator, and filmmaker Yale Strom tagged along with a small camera crew. The documentary Klezmer on Fish Street is a record of their experiences, as Strom and The Klezmaniacs examine Poland, the legacy of Jewish culture in a nation without Jews, and the commercial exploitation of the Holocaust while Frohman struggles to find evidence of the Poland she knew as a girl. Klezmer on Fish Street was cited as a Special Jury Selection at the 2003 Palm Beach International Film Festival. … More
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Critic Reviews for Klezmer on Fish Street
Unfortunately, in this amateurish, muddled film, the issues are poured out in a jumble of unexplained puzzle pieces that are never put together.
The worthy subject -- Poland's recent Jewish revival -- is simply ill-served by Yale Strom's meandering, often incoherent documentary.
Laughably bad visuals, haphazard and un-reasoned interviews and discussions, and ill-conceived tangents.
Fascinating subject and rousing wall-to-wall Klezmer music strongly sell an otherwise rather questionably structured film.
An undercooked concept, ineptly executed.
Yale Strom offers an important addition to his collection of Jewish history movies.
After all the squirming and twisting, the film never secures a strong grip on its subject.
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