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J. Frank Burke
Tevye is a dairyman in the Russian Ukraine early in the 20th century. He lives in a cabin outside Boyberik with his wife Goldie, his widowed daughter Tseytl, her two children, and his younger daughter, the unmarried Khave. Khave is being courted by Fedya, a Christian, the son of a local government official. Tevye warns Khave against romance and marriage outside her faith, but Fedya is persuasive too. What will Khave decide, how will Tevye react, and when the Tsar initiates a pogrom, will Tevye's friends come to his defense? Can the stubborn Tevye reconcile his heart and tradition? "On the other hand..." Written by
"Tevye and His Daughters"is a rather disjointed novel that was printed over a 20 year period.Each chapter stands independently of the others,and reflects the then-current situation of the Jews living in rural Tsarist Russia.We see the breakdown of a patriarchal mode of life,changing in response to the demands of an evolving society which is emerging from feudalism,having effects on all social strata.
"Fiddler on the Roof",one of the American musical theater's most enduring masterpieces,is based on 4 chapters of the original novel.In addition,it has been somewhat homogenized for popular consumption for the local public."Tevye",on the other hand,is based on roughly 2.5 chapters,which are found later in the saga.In addition,some of the personal degradation and humiliation Tevye encounters in the source,are seen in this version.
Maurice Schwartz is the star of the film.(It also helps,I guess,when he directed it as well.Able to give himself the best role.)His portrayal is NOT the gruff,jovial peasant seen in the musical.His rendition of the title part is much more cerebral,chipper,and acerbic than we might expect from this character.Nonetheless,it is entirely valid in its way.Enjoy this picture as an alternative interpretation.
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