Hester Street Reviews
One particularly street named Hester Street in Manhattan, New York, where there was a significant large Yiddish speaking population of Jewish immigrants. The year is 1896, and we follow the Russian immigrant named Jake (originally Yankl) who's lived in America for three years. A typical Americanized Jew. But one day he receives a letter that his father back in Russia is dead, and that his wife, Gitl (Carol Kane) and their son, Yossele is gonna leave Russia and join her husband in the US. But throwing away her Jewishness isn't as easy for her as it was for Jake. And all her traditional rituals makes Jake angry and he often result to violence, which after a long time ends up with a divorce.
Hester Street is an atmospheric period drama, which sometimes feels like a silent film or a documentary with it's black and white photography. It's like diving into a historical photo album which takes us back in time to show us an old New York and it's ethnic quarters. And I also love when the actors actually spoke Yiddish, the language which they used to speak back in the old country. But what I didn't like about this film was that the ending wasn't very satisfying. There's no reconciliation, and the main character Jake is so two dimensional and so simple. But on the other side it's kind of a ironic ending for Gitl's sake. Overall it's a good period piece, and a great Oscar nominated performance by Carol Kane. Thumbs up.