Yiddish Political Cinema – Grine Felder (Green Fields)

Film screening and panel discussion - In collaboration with the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image

Event Information and Booking

12th July, 2023
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image, 43 Gordon Square, Birkbeck, University of London, WC1H 0PD
Gil Toffell, British Universities Film and Video Council and William Pimlott, Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, University of London

Grine Felder (Edgar G. Ulmer & Jacob Ben-Ami, 1937), Ulmer’s soulful, open-air adaptation of Peretz Hirshbein’s classic play heralded the Golden Age of Yiddish cinema. It is a pastoral tale set in the Eastern European alte heym, but in fact filmed in New Jersey. A young student ventures into the countryside, searching for “true Jews” and is drawn towards utopian schemes. One of the most critically acclaimed and best loved of American Yiddish talkies, Grine Felder celebrates an idyllic world of communal wholeness and innate piety. It was voted Best Foreign Film in France in 1938. 

The film (B&W, 95 mins) has been fully restored by the National Center for Jewish Film, USA and will be shown with English subtitles.  

The screening will be followed by a discussion and Q&As. 

This screening is one of a series exploring Yiddish political cinema. The first film, Uncle Moses, was shown on the 14 June. These two films explore the political options available to East European Jews in America and Europe before the Holocaust and offer fascinating insight into immigrant life and the modern Jewish experience. 

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