Pictures from a galaxy far away and long ago: the 300-odd no-budget Yiddish talkies assembly-line manufactured in New York and Poland during the '30s. Very audience-specific films, too. The theme of many of them, whether melodrama or comedy (or Western!), is that of the immigrant finding a home in a new culture without sacrificing old values. For cinephiles, the extracts from the Edgar G Ulmer films are the prime attraction, but the Yiddish analogues of Abbott & Costello, Maisie and Ma Kettle exert a certain fascination in their own right. The memories of surviving participants and Wolf Mankowitz's commentary leave many points uncovered: look as well to Sylvia Paskin's excellent history When Joseph Met Molly.
Cast and crew