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Yiddish Theater: A Love Story

Yiddish Theater: A Love Story (2006)

tomatometer

88

Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

100

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 245

My Rating

Movie Info

Between the late '30s and 2006, the number of Yiddish stage theaters in the Big Apple sadly dwindled from twelve to one. Two of the last remaining institutions were the Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre, sustained for many years by Holocaust survivor Zypora Spaisman (1916-2002), and Spaisman's last remaining stage ensemble, the Yiddish Public Theatre. With his documentary Yiddish Theater: A Love Story, director Dan Katzir visits Spaisman in the final few years of her life, when the determined

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All Critics (20) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (2)

Intriguing and entertaining despite some rough edges, Dan Katzir's documentary profits immeasurably from the ancient Spaisman's genuine charisma.

June 21, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If you end up kvelling for these performers, the doc has served its purpose.

June 17, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Given its origins, it's not surprising that Yiddish Theater: A Love Story has a catch-as-catch-can feeling to it. But nothing can take away from the flavor of being caught up in the battles and dreams of a formidable group of people.

November 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although the film's highly personal approach ultimately pays off in terms of heartfelt emotion -- particularly at its bittersweet conclusion -- it's hard not to wish that its focus was not quite so narrow.

November 28, 2007
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Touching, if uneven.

November 21, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Filmed in real time during the freezing winter of 2000, Yiddish Theater: A Love Story tracks eight days in the failing life of the Yiddish Public Theater.

November 21, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Yiddish Theater: A Love Story is as charming, humorous, convincing, tenacious and relevant as its wonderful leading lady.

June 17, 2012 Full Review Source: About.com
About.com

However, whether by design or happy coincidence, several more universal truths lurk tantalizingly in the upper balcony and lift this production from the specific to the universal.

July 23, 2009 Full Review Source: JWR

Only a schmuck wouldn't love this movie.

July 8, 2009 Full Review
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

... an uneven but ultimately charming %u2013 and sad %u2013 look at the disappearance of a centuries-old cultural tradition whose impact on our own culture has been inestimable.

December 21, 2007

Yiddish Theater is a melancholy work, as well it should be, but it's also almost giddy much of the time with the delight of discovery, preservation and nostalgia.

November 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Daily News

Katzir's documentary is on the cusp of posing worthy questions about American assimilation and cultural evolution, but it'd rather appeal to guilt and sympathy for art that we never get to feel.

November 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

When you see all of these octogenarians struggling through the snow and perilous ice to make it to their show, you really see what true courage and artistic commitment are all about.

November 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Charming documentary on the struggle to keep Yiddish theater alive against all odds, including assimilated Jews' shame at a language associated with victimhood.

November 23, 2007 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

The film's candid personalities provide plenty of memorably off-the-cuff moments.

November 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Interviews with aging caretakers of the Yiddish Theater are vivid windows into a bygone world, and Spaisman herself, a feisty firebrand whose accent is so strong Katzir supplied subtitles, is a formidable personality.

November 21, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Dan Katzir's film is, in many ways, an elegy to the Yiddish theater.

November 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

We can only hope that the film draws audiences larger today than those we see drawn by the Folksbeine.

November 14, 2007 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

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