Turn-of-the-century Warsaw: Yasha, an itinerant Jewish magician (Arkin), pursues the world, the flesh and the devil, and has enough spare hubris left over to want to fly; clearly the subject matter is rare enough to be beguiling. Unfortunately Golan's treatment, with its mixture of art house pretensions and vulgarity, founders at precisely those points where it departs from Isaac Bashevis Singer's original Yiddish novel. Where that used clear-eyed tender realism to point toward ambiguity of experience and mystery, Golan overdramatises, tips into hysteria, and substitutes a specious mysticism that is sadly literal. What survives (filmed in English) is sufficiently removed from mainstream cinema to be of interest - but not for Singer fans. CPea.