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Hava Nagila

Hava Nagila

Take a romp through the history, mystery and meaning of the great Jewish standard, Hava Nagila.

It is instantly recognisable – musical shorthand for anything Jewish. It conjures up wistful smiles, memories of generations past, and no shortage of eye rolling. But as Hava Nagila (The Movie) shows, the song is much more than a signpost of Jewish kitsch and bad bar mitzvah fashions. It carries with it an entire constellation of history, values and hopes for the future.

Featuring interviews with Connie Francis, Glen Campbell, Leonard Nimoy, Harry Belafonte, Regina Spektor and more, Hava Nagila (The Movie) follows the song from the shtetls of Eastern Europe to the cul-de-sacs of America. The resulting film not only entertains and makes us laugh, it reminds us of the power of melody to transcend and bring a celebration to life.

“Hava Nagila tells us who we should be and what we, in a fundamental sense, aspire to be — peoples of love and joy and peace.” Harry Belafonte


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    Roberta Grossman

JIFF returns to cinemas across Australia in October 2024. Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to hear updates on new titles, special announcements and more!