Friday, June 19, 2009

A great Jewish moment in movies

From the side matter: [This clip] is from the 1936 Yiddish film YIDL MITN FIDL [one of the most successful Yiddish film of all time, starring the very great Molly (Malkele) Picon.]

This was filmed... in Kazimierz, Poland, using local inhabitants as extras. It took over thirty consecutive hours to film, and the food had to be kosher of course as the locals used were all Orthodox Jews. As the filming went on, they ate, and for the successive shots of the table the food had to be replenished. The poverty stricken guests just couldn't understand what was happening, as they thought they had been invited to a real wedding. When one woman asked why so much food they explained that it wasn't a real wedding - only a film. It is possible she had never seen a film, for she said: "Why didn't you tell me that before? With so much food, I could have brought my daughter to get married for real. She has a chassen (bridegroom) but we have no money for a dowry to make a proper wedding." Molly suspected her husband (Jacob Kalich) may have given the woman the money, as later she smiled at Picon and said "Are you lucky to have such a rich husband."

It's a sobering thought to think what... happened to these people only a few short years later.

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