Courtesy of Riverside Films
“He wrote standing up… Standing, walking, running.” So Bel Kaufman, granddaughter of Sholem Aleichem, describes the world’s most influential Yiddish writer. “He would look off into the distance and chuckle, as if hearing what his characters were saying to him, and then he would write.”
Joseph Dorman’s new documentary, “Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness,” presents the life and work of a man, born in a small Ukrainian town in 1859, who came to capture the voice of everyday Jewish life in the shtetl. The film, opening July 8 at Lincoln Plaza Cinema in New York, and screening later this month at the Jerusalem International Film Festival and the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, features an extensive archive of both personal and historical photographs, as well as interviews with various scholars and enthusiasts of Jewish and Yiddish literature, including Dan Miron, Hillel Halkin, David Roskies, Aaron Lansky, Ruth Wisse, and, of course, Bel Kaufman.