- 1937 ----- b & w ----- 127 min ----- vhs
(Directed by Michal Waszynski, screenplay by Alter Kacyzne, Andrezej Marek based on the original play by S. Ansky; with Avrom Morevski, Issac Samberg, Moyshe Lipman, Lili Liliana, Leon Liebgold, Dina Halpern, Max Bozyk, M. Messinger, Gershon Lamberger, S. Bronecki, Samuel Landau) In a Polish shetl, two young men who have grown up together betroth their unborn children, ignoring the advice of a mysterious traveler not to pledge the lives of future generations. Soon after, one of them dies, and the wife of the other dies in childbirth. The children grow up in different towns, without ever knowing of the betrothal, but the power of the vow leads them to meet each other when they are marriageable. The young woman, Leah, is promised to another man, but Channon, the son of the father who died, is a practitioner of mysticism, and seeks to win his bride through sorcery. Boundaries separating the natural from the supernatural dissolve as ill-fated pledges, unfulfilled passions and untimely deaths ensnare two families in a tragic labyrinth of spiritual possession. The film reflects the original author's (S. Ansky) deep perception of the shtetl's religious and cultural mores.
(In Yiddish with English subtitles)
(Restricted to classroom use only)
- Topics: (Drama, Europe, Jewish Studies, Literature, Motion Pictures: Features)