A Cantor's Tale (2005)

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Filmmaker Erik Greenburg Anjou explores the "golden age" of the Jewish liturgical music known as "chazzanut" in a soulful meditation on the cantors and songs that drove the once-popular movement. As a child, future performer, teacher, and Cantors Assembly president Jacob Mendelson marveled at the singers who frequently performed at the local synagogue. High profile vocalists whose fans were every bit as fervent as those of Frank Sinatra, these performers were prevalent not only on Brooklyn's Jewish radio station, but in film and theater as well. Historical footage of the legendary cantors performing in old, Yiddish-language films captures the magic of the music that had countless fans singing along, and a guided tour of the sights and erstwhile locations of Mendelson's childhood haunts show just what a lasting impact the chazzanut has had on contemporary Jewish culture despite its fading popularity. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for A Cantor's Tale

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (3)

With its outlandish stories, obsession with masculine ego, and focus on an absurd, forgotten subculture, A Cantor's Tale is the stuff Ben Stiller movies are made of ...

Sep 8, 2006

Delightful docu A Cantor's Tale casts a fond eye back at the 'golden age' of chazzanut (Jewish liturgical music) and its star performers in the Brooklyn of yesteryear, while also profiling one of the form's most significant latter-day advocates.

Sep 8, 2006
Variety
Top Critic

... A Cantor's Tale is more concerned with singing praises than with arguing over orthodoxies.

Sep 7, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/5

Effectively portrays this practice as a deeply spiritual marriage of religious commitment and artistic perseverance.

Oct 24, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

It's Mendelson's love of chazzanut, and of music in general, that drives this engaging film; anyone familiar with the power of music to transcend language and cut straight to powerful, transformative emotions will find his passion irresistible.

Sep 8, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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