East and West

East and West features classic scenes of Molly Picon lifting weights and boxing, teaching young villagers to shimmy, and stealing away from services to gorge herself before sundown on Yom Kippur. Underlying these hijinks is veteran filmmaker Sidney Goldin's affectionate appreciation of differences, for good-natured comedy shapes his portrayal of worldly Jews encountering traditional shtetl life. Morris Brown (Goldin), a New Yorker better acquainted with his checkbook than his prayer book, returns to Galicia with his daughter for a family wedding. The bride, daughter of his traditionally observant brother, and Morris's Mollie, (of the) exuberant antics, could not be more different. But Mollie unexpectedly meets her match in an engaging young yeshiva scholar who . . . joins the secular world to win her heart” (National Center for Jewish Film). “Anticipating Clara Bow by three years, Picon's hyperactive flapper is almost a force of nature” (J. Hoberman).

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