Hester Street

Film

 

Time Out says

Tackling a potentially fascinating and neglected area - Jewish immigrants in end-of-last-century New York - this limits itself to an affectionate and predictable chronicle of the Americanisation of Jake and Gitl. Clarity of emotion at the expense of subtlety, larger than life performances (with the exception of Carol Kane, whose greenhorn wife ends up learning the fastest), confine the film to warmheartedness and gentle, ironic observation at the expense of any real insight. Only towards the end, as the couple split up and remarry, does the film satisfactorily come to terms with a society in a state of flux and its relation to the American Dream: the passing of old customs, self-improvement, ghetto mentality and matriarchy are all touched upon. But an unimaginative camera and misty monochromes do little beyond conveying some self-conscious period recreation.
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Release details

UK release:

1974

Duration:

89 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Joan Micklin Silver

Cast:

Dorrie Kavanaugh, Mel Howard, Carol Kane, Steven Keats, Doris Roberts

Music:

William Bolcom

Production Designer:

Stuart Wurtzel

Editor:

Katherine Wenning

Cinematography:

Kenneth Van Sickle

Screenwriter:

Joan Micklin Silver

Producer:

Raphael D Silver

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