“Yidishe Glik” at the Arbeter Ring/Worksmen’s Circle

In “Yidishe Glik”, Shloyme Mikhoels (1890 – 1948), the great Yiddish actor/orator and head of the Moscow Jewish State Theater, is a master of pantomime and “attains the summit of ethnic Jewish dandyism.” (Osip Mandelstam writing in a Leningrad newspaper, 1925 – as quoted in Bridge of Light by J. Hoberman)

The hero of the silent film “Yidishe Glik” (“Jewish Luck”) is one of Sholem Aleichem’s greatest creations, the hapless dreamer (luftmentsh) in all of us, Menakhem Mendl. He tries his hand in a series of get-rich-quick schemes: playing the stockmarket, selling insurance, professional matchmaking, all with comic results.

The film is a commentary on Czarist repressions and bourgeois materialism, but also casts a straightforward and sympathetic eye on the culture and hardships of the shtetl. Kenneth Turan will introduce the movie.

“Yidishe Glik” screening | Arbeter Ring Workmen’s Circle | Sunday 5 pm

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