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Yiddish Theater: A Love Story Reviews

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Ronnie Scheib
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: Variety

November 21, 2007
Amy Nicholson
Boxoffice Magazine

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.

Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine

November 30, 2007
Ella Taylor
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[A] gentle homage.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

November 20, 2007
Mark R. Leeper

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

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 7/10

November 14, 2007
Jennifer Merin

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

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 4.5/5

June 17, 2012
Rob Humanick
Slant Magazine

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

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 21, 2007

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 Source: JWR | Original Score: 4.5/5

July 23, 2009
Phil Hall
Film Threat

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

Full Review Source: Film Threat | Original Score: 3/5

November 21, 2007
Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
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.

| Original Score: 3.5/5

November 21, 2007
Linda Cook
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

Only a schmuck wouldn't love this movie.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4

July 8, 2009
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: Time Out New York

June 17, 2012
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Touching, if uneven.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 21, 2007
Maitland McDonagh
TV Guide's Movie Guide

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 Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 21, 2007
Louis Proyect

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

Full Review Source:

November 23, 2007
David Noh
Film Journal International

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.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

November 26, 2007
Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter
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
Bob Strauss
Los Angeles Daily News

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 Source: Los Angeles Daily News | Original Score: 3/4

November 30, 2007
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

November 30, 2007
Andy Klein
Los Angeles CityBeat

... 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

New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

June 21, 2012
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