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 ...
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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
Joan Micklin Silver wrote the film's screenplay in six weeks. Silver changed the emphasis of the film's source novel "Yekl" from a man's the point-of-view (the husband's POV) to a woman's perspective (the wife's POV). 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 »
[on his mistress Mamie]
Uh... she used to work in my shop. She's looking for a job, that's all.
The way she looked, I thought she was nobility.
Gitl, stop being a greenhorn. In America, anyone can dress like that!
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Around 1975 I saw this movie with my mother and aunt, born in 1902 and 1903 respectively. They watched it as if it were a replay of a life that they had known, having come to this country just about the time of the characters on the screen.
My mother soon descended into the long goodbye of Alzheimers disease. So this is a memory I especially value. My Aunt, kenehora, is still with us.
They discussed it mater of factly, not so much as a work of art, but a documentary. I can think of no greater compliment to all who were involved in creating this very special film.
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