The earliest surviving Yiddish language film is also a cute little culture clash comedy. Stage legend Molly Picon plays a secular Jewish-American girl who visits her religiously devout extended family back in Poland. Chaos ensues when she accidentally marries a penniless student (Yonkel Kalich, Picon’s real-life husband).
There are certain truths that are known to all but never spoken out loud. This is one of them. Go on, confess! If you had the cash, you would hire a couple of guys in crisp cotton shirts to carry you around like the boxing champ you are.
This is from East and West, a delightful Yiddish comedy about the American and Polish branches of a family coming face-t0-face for the first time in decades. Culture clashes and chaos ensues. Molly Picon (Yente the matchmaker from Fiddler on the Roof) knocks ’em dead (literally) as the amateur pugilist heroine from the U.S. of A.
Availability: East and West is available on DVD directly from the National Center for Jewish Film.
A wealthy Polish-American businessman returns to the old country after a long absence. He brings along his spunky daughter (Yiddish stage legend Molly Picon), an irreverent practical joker and amateur pugilist. She wins the heart of a shy, dour Talmudic scholar (Picon’s real-life husband, Jacob Kalich) but when a mock wedding goes too far, they find themselves locked in an uncomfortable match. Will east and west ever find a way to bridge the divide?
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