Original music by Hankus Netsky--
Portraits of two beloved icons--Sholom Aleichem and Theodore Bikel--are woven together in this enchanting new documentary. The two men have much in common: wit, wisdom and talent, all shot through with deep humanity and Yiddishkeit.
This new film Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem combines Bikel's charismatic storytelling and masterful performances with a broader exploration of Aleichem's remarkable life and work.
Theodore Bikel, the unstoppable performer whose career spanned more than 150 screen roles (including an Oscar-nominated turn in The Defiant Ones) and countless stage and musical productions, was also the foremost interpreter of Sholom Aleichem's work. Bikel, who passed away in 2015, played Tevye the Milkman on stage more than 2,000 times. Bikel animated Aleichem's work through his creation of two celebrated musical plays about the great Russian author.
A pioneer of modern Jewish literature who championed and luxuriated in the Yiddish language, Sholom Aleichem created dozens of indelible characters. His Tevye the Milkman, Motl the Cantor's Son, and Menachem Mendl--"shtetl Jews" for whom humor and pathos were two sides of the same Yiddish coin--remain invaluable windows into pre-war Eastern European Jewish life, real and imagined.
Narrated by Alan Alda.
From the collections of The National Center for Jewish Film
Running time: 75 minutes Film Release 2014 DVD release 2017
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