WELCOME TO YIDDISHLAND takes us inside the Art and practices of a diverse and international group of innovative, radical artists, who are creating new works about the important issues of our time in the endangered Yiddish language . Our film asks why they create in Yiddish, what it means to them personally and professionally, and what obstacles they must overcome to revive this richly expressive language. In the end, as we see these Artists come together in a joyous, vibrant, international festival to share their works, their skills, and their passion with the next generation, we witness the blossoming of a Yiddish cultural renaissance.
Since what is being explored in the film is a “cultural movement” the film requires a broad cross-section of subjects from diverse backgrounds to truly examine it. Therefore, it will feature an ensemble cast of characters from different countries. This diverse ensemble is connected by the fact that they are all performers. The stage is their home and Yiddish is their language. Collectively and metaphorically, they are citizens of the international community of YIDDISHLAND. There are a couple of layers to the structure of the film. On one level there is the trans global conversation that is going on between the subjects about issues that arise from Yiddish. Typical of all Jewish conversations, this involves lots of strong opinions and sometimes passionate disagreement . Then there is the deeper, more visceral level to the structure, which provides a more emotional and visual/ kinaesthetic experience of Yiddish. Just as Lewis Carroll’s Alice drops into Wonderland, we drop our audience into the strange and unfamiliar world of Yiddishland. While there, they experience the rhythms of Yiddishland, the quintessential humour, the irony, the deep and visceral language. We want to immerse people in an emotional and aural landscape. We want them to experience Yiddish, to be moved, be shifted. To do this, the film flows associatively in a complete, unbroken, and fluid way. Transitions happen through association. They may happen visually, aurally, or conceptually – picking up the resonances from one scene and building or countering them with the resonances of another. Music will also be a powerful driving force and give the film its energy and momentum Our visual style combines verité footage, interviews and performances with archival material and animation to best allow our audience to experience the process and work of our subjects. There is a sense of playfulness, irony, and fantasy in the very concept of “YIDDISHLAND” itself; and the style of the film reflect this. We aim to add bespoke animation to tie together the artistic and cinematic vision of our film. Animated hand-drawn figures, loosely inspired by the style of Chagall’s flying “villagers” from the shtetls of Europe will transport us across the globe. They will bring in signs and banners that introduce characters and events, evoking a sense of Theatre as we enter that magical transformative space, the stage, which is home to our Yiddishland characters.
DURATION: 90 MINUTES
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