Klezmer On Fish Street

From Aug ’08 Spotlight: Young Jewish-American authors are fascinated by the goings-on in Krakow, Poland, which has become one of Europe’s greatest destinations for “Holocaust Tourism” since Schindler’s List was released in 1993. Krakow has a starring role in Erin Einhorn’s book The Pages in Between (see my February ’09 column) and Roger Bennett, co-author of And You Shall Know Us by the Trail of Our Vinyl (see my May ’09 column), has just posted an update on Tablet (Nextbook’s new online website).

Their words leap to life in Yale Strom’s 2002 documentary Klezmer on Fish Street. Strom and his group “The Klezmaniacs” went to Poland to participate in Krakow’s annual “Jewish Culture Festival.” Alta, the grandmother of the Klezmaniacs lead singer, came along to translate, and also to visit her home town of Bedzin. (The Fish Street in the film’s title is located in Bedzin.) The film counterpoints these twin searches for “Jewish roots” with the fact that almost none of the other musicians, spectators, or bystanders at the “Jewish Culture Festival” are actually Jewish. The Chicago YIVO Society will show this riveting doc on Thurs August 6 at 6:30 PM at the Harold Washington Library Center on State and Congress.

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