Yiddish Theater: A Love Story Reviews

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New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic
June 21, 2012

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

Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
Top Critic
June 17, 2012

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

Jennifer Merin
June 17, 2012

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

Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
S. James Wegg
July 23, 2009

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Linda Cook
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
July 8, 2009

Only a schmuck wouldn't love this movie.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Andy Klein
Los Angeles CityBeat
December 21, 2007

... 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.

Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
November 30, 2007

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Bob Strauss
Los Angeles Daily News
November 30, 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.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
November 28, 2007

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.

David Noh
Film Journal International
November 26, 2007

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.

Louis Proyect
November 23, 2007

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

Rob Humanick
Slant Magazine
November 21, 2007

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

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Maitland McDonagh
TV Guide's Movie Guide
November 21, 2007

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
Top Critic
November 21, 2007

Touching, if uneven.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
Top Critic
November 21, 2007

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.

| Original Score: 3.5/5
Phil Hall
Film Threat
November 21, 2007

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

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Ella Taylor
Village Voice
Top Critic
November 20, 2007

[A] gentle homage.

Mark R. Leeper
November 14, 2007

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

Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Amy Nicholson
Boxoffice Magazine
November 30, 2007

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.

Ronnie Scheib
Top Critic
November 21, 2007

Its extremely narrow focus on the death throes of an art form, rather than the art itself, limits its appeal.

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