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– Ronnie Scheib, Variety
  International Film Circuit presents a Riverside Films production  


SHOLEM ALEICHEM - Laughing in the Darkness

A film by Joseph Dorman
Featuring the voices of Peter Riegert, Rachel Dratch, Alan Rosenberg

US 2010 • 93 mins • 16:9 • Dolby Stereo • NR
English & Yiddish w/Engish subtitles
Exhibition Format: DVD, Blu-Ray, HDcam, Digibeta

::  link to official website  
::  watch the trailer  
::  find a theater near you  
::  press material / photographs to download  

A riveting portrait of the great writer whose stories became the basis of the Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof. Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness tells the tale of the rebellious genius who created an entirely new literature. Plumbing the depths of a Jewish world locked in crisis and on the cusp of profound change, he captured that world with brilliant humor. Sholem Aleichem was not just a witness to the creation of a new modern Jewish identity, but one of the very men who forged it.

“An INVIGORATING and FASCINATING biographical documentary that should be required viewing for anyone with a love for the written word.”
-- Phil Hall, Film Threat

“A wonderful look at the amazing life of one of the 20th century's most beloved writers!!!” -- Jeffrey Lyons, Lyon’ Den Radio

“BRILLIANTLY ABSORBING. Dorman does a MAGNIFICENT job. Plus the still photography is to die for.” – Judith Gelman Myers, Hadassah Magazine

"FASCINATING! Just as ABSORBING as Arguing the World, Dorman’s previous scintillating documentary." – Miriam Rinn, Jewish Week

– Cynthia Ozick

Far from the folksy grandfather many people mistake him to be, Sholem Aleichem was a sophisticated modern writer and cosmopolitan intellectual, an artist the equal of Chekhov or Gogol or Isaac Babel. His work left lasting legacies in Israel and the Soviet Union, as well as in America to which Sholem Aleichem immigrated twice, and where he died in 1916. His funeral was attended by some 200,000 people. It was the largest public funeral the city had ever witnessed and announced the arrival of the American Jewish community as a force to be reckoned with. In the following decades, Sholem Aleichem’s work, especially his Teyve stories, would be interpreted time and again by an American Jewish community whose own identity was evolving over time.
Using rarely seen photographs and archive footage, the voices of actors Peter Riegert and Rachel Dratch, and interviews with leading experts such as Columbia’s Dan Miron, Harvard’s Ruth Wisse, David Roskies of the Jewish Theological Seminary, author and Yiddish translator Hillel Halkin, Aaron Lansky, the founder of the National Yiddish Book Center, and Bel Kauffmann, Sholem Aleichem's own granddaughter, the film brings to life as never before Sholem Aleichem's world and his timeless stories.


New York Jewish Film Festival

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival  
Toronto Jewish Film Festival  
Jerusalem Film Festival

Sarasota Film Festival


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