This movie is seldom seen, but it should be. It takes many of the narratives of pre-Holocaust Jewish/Yiddish cinema, but twisting them in such a way as to make the viewer confront cinematic stereotypes that this films (and society) keep alive, including feminist, political, and (multi)cultural. Antin also creates a collision of past and present in which to dwell upon (and possibly change) the future. She obviously understands postmodern theories of film and people. However, it is not simply "in your face" propagandist cinema, as so many Hollywood features seems to be nowadays. There is a playfulness to the movie, and characterizations that were absent in early cinema are presented with a great degree of reality (out of wedlock pregnancy, rape, lesbianism, etc.).
The movie has the feel of Jackson's "Forgotten Silver," by taking a supposedly historic and real movie, making look like a great, historic, previously lost feature, but it is all a sham, as far as history goes. However, upon watching this movie, the viewer knows that it is a sham, but one that is attempting to teach how stereotypes are problematic.
To some viewers, this movie may seem a bit overdone and overreaching, but that is the point (in my opinion). Granted, it needs to be seen in the viewpoint of 1992, with the fighting in the Baltic and the rise of (ugh) multiculturalism, but the casual viewer will probably be entertained by the story, but those of us who enjoy the genre of Jewish Cinema would understand and thoroughly enjoy this movie!
8 of 10. -------- E. It also may look like it is just a rehashing of the past, but for students of Jewish studies and Jewish/Yiddish cinema, it is quite a well-made and well-thought-out movie.
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