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It's 1896. Yankel Bogovnik, a Russian Jew, emigrated to the United States three years earlier and has settled where many of his background have, namely on Hester Street on the Lower East Side of New York City. He has assimilated to American life, having learned English, anglicized his name to Jake, and shaved off his beard. He is working at a $12/week job as a seamster, the money earned to be able to bring his wife Gitl and his son Yossele to America from Russia. Regardless, he has fallen in love with another woman, a dancer named Mamie Fein. Nonetheless, he is excited when he learns that Gitl and Yossele are indeed coming to America. His happiness at their arrival is dampened when he sees that Gitl is not "American" looking like Mamie and has troubles assimilating as quickly as he would like. Except to Mamie, he tries to show a public façade that everything is fine at home with Gitl. But can their marriage survive these differences, and if not, will Gitl be able to manage in this new... Written by
The picture had trouble getting distributed. The movie was consider too specialist, mainly of interest to a niche market of only audiences of a Jewish ethnicity, and without any mass or general appeal. In the end, the filmmakers decided to distribute the movie themselves. See more »
Early scene at table with Gitl, her husband, son and boarder, one can see the mic in the upper right-hand corner. See more »
Telling a tale of culture and love amongst Jewish immigrants in the late 1800's, this picture works perfectly well as what it is meant to be: A nice, little film. The story by Abraham Cahan is cut to the screen in such a way, that can only be described as "pictures of atmosphere". The reality of the story is given some importance in both setting, choice if actors and so on. Background music is almost only used, when storyline is at an halt f.ex. when the characters are to go from one place to another or when the focus are on the setting. The music used is, as well as everything else, highly influenced by popular music of that time in which the story is supposed to take place. and the result of all this is a lovely period piece and therefore I have chosen to give it 10/10, because even though it is not a masterpiece, it is everything it means to be, and should be recognized for this. And if you ask me, they make too few movies like.
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