In a sparkling new 4K restoration, this transcendent period dramedy brings to life the bustling Eastern European enclave of the Lower East Side at the turn of the 20th Century.
American cinema lost one of its great unsung talents last year with the passing of Joan Micklin Silver, writer-director of films like THE FRONT PAGE andC ROSSING DELANCEY. Micklin Silver’s first feature, HESTER STREET is a small-scale yet richly immersive period drama that lovingly pays tribute to the history of Jewish American life. Set at the tail end of the 19th Century, the film is set in the bustling community of Eastern European Jews living in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a place of striking contrasts between tradition and modernity. This contrast is summed up in the relationship between recent emigree Gitl (Carol Kane, in an Oscar-nominated role) and her husband Jake (Steven Keats). Jake came to America years before and has proudly taken on the characteristics of his new home, even taking up with a comely dancer. When Gitl and their young son arrive from Eastern Europe, Jake is embarrassed by his wife’s old-world ways and lets her know it. Stuck in a floundering marriage and lost in an unfamiliar country, Gitl must draw on a reserve of hidden strength to assert her own place in her new homeland.
CAST: Carol Kane, Steven Keats, Mel Howard, Dorrie Kavanaugh
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