British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish

Synopsis
Independent low-budget feature film which transports Romeo and Juliet to Williamsburg and the warring families are from two different sects of Orthodox Jews - the Chabads and the Satmars. Laser (Weiss) is running petty scams for food and drugs with his pal Mendy (Zafir). Alienated from their families and communities, they have the thick accents of their ultra Orthodox Satmer sect, in which Yiddish is the first language. Ava (Annenberg), an emergency room nurse who is studying for a Masters in the mama loschen, loves Yiddishkeit but not the Orthodox. When she takes on the project of translating Romeo and Juliet into Yiddish, a Satmer ambulance driver recommends young toughs Laser and Mendy to assist her with the translation. But there is a problem: they have never heard of Shakespeare. As they start to "modernise" and act in the archaic play, the young men fall under its spell.
Language
Yiddish
Country
United States
Medium
Film
Technical information
Colour / Sound
Year of release
08/07/2011
Duration
91 mins

Credits

Director
Eve Annenberg
Producer
Eve Annenberg; Lazer Weiss
Cinematographer
In Young Choi
Screenplay
Eve Annenberg
Music
Joel Diamond
Art Direction
Tricia Peck
Cast
Lazer WeissLazer (Romeo)
Melissa WeiszFaizy (Juliet)
Bubbles Yoeli WeissMo (Mercutio)
Eve AnnenbergAva (Nurse)
Aaron KellerPeter
Isaac SchoenfeldIsaac (Rabbi)
Josef Yossi FriedmanTy (Tybalt)
Luzer TwerskyParis
Mendy ZafirMendy (Benvolio)
Solman WiserCapulet
Yelena ShmulensonLady Capulet

Additional Details

Production type
Fiction Films
Historical period
Contemporary
Plays
Romeo and Juliet
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
Jewish Americans; Jews; Shakespeare, William (1564-1616); Untrained actors

Notes

Notes
The film was made in three months and cost $175,000. In English and Yiddish with English sub-titles.
General
The film stars first-time actors who left their close-knit Chasidic communities in Brooklyn. The Film is available for Download from iTunes at: http://apple.co/2wmP5po
History
The film had its American premiere on 16 January 2011 at the 20th New York Jewish Film Festival and its world premiere at the Berlin Jewish Film Festival.
Awards
Gerhardt Klein Audience Award, Berlin Jewish Film Festival
Reviews
Daily Variety (Tuesday July 12, 2011)

Online Availability

Online URL
http://bit.ly/2vcwGxf
Online format
Download

Production Company

Name

Oscar Productions

Name

Vilna City Films

Distributor (Sale)

Name

Nancy Fishman Film Releasing

Email
nancy&fishmanfilm.com
Web
http://nancyfishmanfilmreleasing.com External site opens in new window
Phone
+1 510 2900 255
Address
610 16th Street, Suite 507B
Oakland
CA 94612
USA

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