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The Shtetl on the Silver Screen: Two Recent Films

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Publication Date: January 2004

Publisher(s): Association for Jewish Studies; Association for Jewish Studies

Author(s): Jeffrey Shandler; Jeffrey Shandler

Series: AJS Perspectives: The Newsletter of the Association for Jewish Studies, Spring-Summer 2004, pp.15-16

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)
Media, telecommunications, and information (Film and video)

Keywords: Film; History; Culture; Ashkenazi Jews

Type: Report


The author examines two films portraying the European shtetl: "Moi Ivan, toi Abraham" (1993) and Train de Vie (1999). The author explains that while these films have more to teach about the perspective of the filmmakers than about the real history of the shtetl, the disaparate conjuring of shtetl imagery exemplified by these films provides an opportunity to consider the range and dynamics of shtetl remembrance, demonstrating the mutability of memory.