Yiddish Film on Wednesday: Yidl With His Fiddle

Please join us at 5PM on Wednesday, December 2 in the Program for Jewish Culture and Society (109 English) for the final film of our fall series, Yidl With His Fiddle (Poland, 1936, 92 minutes). Pizza will be served, bring your own beverage.

From the National Center for Jewish Film:

Director Joseph Green returned to his native Poland from America to produce this film, the most commercially successful musical in the history of the Yiddish cinema, starring Molly Picon, consummate comedienne of Yiddish theater, vaudeville, and film. This is the classic folk comedy about a man and his daughter who, penniless, decide to become travelling musicians. The daughter disguises herself as a boy to relieve her father’s anxiety about unforseeable problems that could befall a young woman “out in the world.” They then join together with “another” father-son duo for music, comedy and romance.

Green’s original screenplay was enhanced by the folksy lyrics of Yiddish poet Itzik Manger and the memorable musical score of Abraham Ellstein, as well as the talents of Leon Leibold, the romantic lead who later starred in The Dybbuk and Tevye, and Max Bozyk, a character actor par excellence.

Breaking away from the studio-bound cinematography of the early Yiddish talkies, Yiddle with His Fiddle was shot on location in the picturesque town of Kazimierz and nearby Warsaw. With shtetl inhabitants as extras, the film captures the vitality and invincible spirit of traditional small town Jewish life.


Dr. Sara Feldman

Hebrew and Yiddish Lecturer

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2118 FLB