Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness

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The author who inspired Fiddler on the Roof, among other landmarks of 20th-century Jewish literature and theater, gets the Ken Burns treatment, with documentarian Joseph Dorman praising the works of one Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich---better known as Sholem Aleichem---with an abundance of old-timey photos and talking-head testimonials. The film does a fine job equating Aleichem's life and career to a microversion of the Jewish American experience, though the competition among various narrators to do the funniest elderly-shtetl-resident voice eventually turns the affair into an unintentionally hilarious mishegas.

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Release details

Release date: Friday July 8 2011
Duration: 93 mins

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