Green Fields

Admission: $1.50

“During the 1930s there flourished a small but vital international industry devoted to the production of films in the Yiddish language. With production centered in New York, Warsaw and even the Soviet Union, the films increased in both number and quality until, by the end of the decade, they were beginning to attract attention from non-Jewish audiences. In 1938, Green Fields won the French equivalent of the Academy Award for best foreign film. Although filmed in a New York studio and on location in northern New Jersey, the film has the unmistakable texture of the better Russian films of the period. (The Russian setting, the gently leftist point of view and the fact that the movie was produced by something called the Collective Screen Producers would indicate that this Russian cinematic flavor is quite intentional.) Edgar G. Ulmer, a director whose assignments were rarely worthy of his considerable talent, did not speak Yiddish. This explains the co-direction credit. Jacob Ben-Ami, a director in New York's then thriving Yiddish Theatre, coached the cast (including 13-year-old Herschel Bernardi) in the delivery of their lines. To Ulmer goes credit for the overall style of this quietly touching film.”

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