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Robert Z. Leonard
In a Polish shtetl, two young men who have grown up together betrothe 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. Written by
Dan Gilman <email@example.com>
This movie is, in a loose sense, a ghost story with a familiar theme: malevolent fate works through human passions, destroying our protagonists, who do not realize until too late what lies ahead. A fine melodrama, no matter how creaky the production might be.
What makes it even more poignant, however, is the historical context. This world, which was fading already when the story was first written, was wiped out entirely by Hitler's Endlösung shortly after the movie was made. The film functions as a ghost story in more ways than one.
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