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Song of Songs (Pesn pesney)

Song of Songs

The acclaimed literary folklore of renowned Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem served as inspiration for Ukrainian filmmaker Eva Neymann, whose third feature film offers a vision of the lost world of the Jewish shtetl at the beginning of the 20th century.

Growing up in a beautiful but insular Hasidic community in turn-of-the-century Ukraine, both guided and bound by tradition, the outgoing young Shimek submits with resignation to his conservative parents strictures.  Restrained in his love for Buzya, it is only when he is sent away from the village that Shimek confronts the true depths of his feelings. The news of Buzya’s forthcoming marriage sparks Shimek’s return home.

An ode to childhood love, this beautiful and reverent tale is imbued with a sense of nostalgia as it follows the lives of Shimek and Buzya who inhabit the cloistered sphere of an orthodox religious community, their love torn between tradition and modernity. With a sumptuous visual style Neymann constructs a remarkably detailed atmosphere evoking the long lost world of Europe's Jewish shtetls.

A darling on the film festival circuit, this film premiered at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, receiving the Award of Ecumenical Jury as well as being voted both Best Picture and Best Ukranian Film at the Odessa International Film Festival.


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