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NFL Press

Kenneth Turan / LA Times:

"Charming... Sensing that he was witnessing the end of an era, Katzir recorded it all on a small video camera and ended up with an irreplaceable record of a life and a movement at a crossroads... nothing can take away from the flavor of being caught up in the battles and dreams of a formidable group of people. For a brief moment in time, we share their struggles, and that feels like a privilege, it really does."

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NFL Press

Jeannette Catsoulis / NY Times:

"The survival of the theater becomes the gateway to a passionate argument for the survival of an entire culture... the film is by turns cranky, funny, wistful and resolute... That language, and its abandonment, is the melancholy heart of “Yiddish Theater,” lending the film direction and depth of purpose. "

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NFL Press

Michelle Paster / IDA's Documentary Magazine:

"Yiddish Theater: A Love Story... succeeded in reaching its core audience... the film had an amazing 18-week theatrical run, unheard of for a documentary, but all the more impressive in that the filmmakers have been self-distributing..."

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NFL Press

Critics' Pick!!! New York Magazine:

"Intriguing and entertaining... Dan Katzir’s documentary profits immeasurably from the ancient Spaisman’s genuine charisma. "

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NFL Press

Jennifer Merin / About.com :

"Charming, humorous, convincing, tenacious and relevant as its wonderful leading lady. The Yiddish Theater is Zypora's artistic home, the place where she and other aging performers, are still relevant, still respected. This aspect of Zypora's mission is particularly moving. "

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NFL Press

Bob Strauss / LA Daily News:

"Touching documentary... chronicles the rich history of one of America's greatest ethnic entertainment traditions."Yiddish Theater" is a melancholy work, as well it should be, but it's also almost giddy much of the time with the delight of discovery, preservation and nostalgia. What can I say? Enjoy."

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NFL Press

Rachel Abramowitz / LA Times:

"The film opened in limited release at the end of November and, thanks to strong reviews, has been gaining a steadily larger following among the art-house set ever since... "They have this laughter through tears thing," says Markus. "Sad things are said in a humorous way, and humorous things are said in a sad way. This is a culture of understated humor.""

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NFL Press

Lauren Horwitch / Back Stage:

"A love letter to forgotten theatre.. Katzir reveals an intimate, inspiring portrait of Spaisman, an artist literally acting to stay alive. "

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NFL Press

Steven Leigh Morris / LA Weekly:

"...(A) wistful and moving portrait of quixotically dedicated artisans playing to half-empty houses, struggling for solvency and relevance — which renders it not just a movie about a theater in particular, but about the theater in general. That contrapuntal blend of heartbreak and humor propels the film, as it does the Yiddish tongue."

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NFL Press

MICHAEL AUSHENKER / PALISADIEN-POST:

"Ostensibly, the filmmaker uses the eight days of Chanukah as a device to provide suspense''each lit candle calibrating a day''as viewers sit at seat's edge to see if Spaisman's cast will prevail... The movie culminates on New Year's Eve 2001, nine months before the events of September 11, adding an unintended layer of poignancy to the viewing; 'Yiddish Theater' gives a glimpse of a more innocent, bygone Manhattan in more ways than one."

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NFL Press

Rabbi Jerry Cutler / Beverly Hills Courier:

"You can guess the outcome of the venture, but the anticipation, the never say die attitude and Katzir's photography of the stark winter streets of New York, is a treat... I owe a debt of gratitude to Yiddish Theater: A Love Story which transported me back to a less complicated and carefree time of my life... So, go see it already and enjoy."

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NFL Press

Ella Taylor / Village Voice & LA Weekly:

"Offers a tribute to the perseverance of 84-year-old Zypora Spaisman, a Polish Holocaust survivor and all-around great dame who did more than most to keep the theater's flame burning. Behind her story is a sadder tale of Jewish cultural decline and the limits of the vaunted Yiddish revival... (a) gentle homage..."

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NFL Press

George Robinson / Jewish Week NY:

"Bittersweet, funny and charming tribute to a theatrical tradition that may be on the ropes but isn't quite down for a 10-count yet."

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NFL Press

Frank Scheck / The Hollywood Reporter:

"...a moving portrait of an indomitable figure fighting for the preservation of a threatened culture... includes amusing interviews... the film's highly personal approach ultimately pays off in terms of heartfelt emotion -- particularly at its bittersweet conclusion. "

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NFL Press

Vadim Rizov / The Reeler:

"Thank goodness, then, that Katzir's film isn't a paean to Jewish values as the circumscribing be-all, end-all of a life well-lived. If anything, it destabilizes that monolithic ideal at the level of language..."

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NFL Press

Elizabeth Weitzman / NY Daily News:

"This is an important New York story, and Spaisman makes an inspiring subject..."

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NFL Press

Christi Hang / Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, ALASKA:

"To celebrate the festival's 10th anniversary Kamerling said Markus was invited to discuss her works. Kamerling said having a filmmaker there to discuss her work provides more context and enriches the experience... The similar purpose of the festival and Markus' work is to appeal a wider audience..."We want to make movies that are very moving and that have a love for humanity," Markus said."

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NFL Press

Roy Oldenkamp, WeHoNews.com :

"Sometimes in life, we have to do what we think is right to fulfill a destiny... She has made her mark and kept a dream alive. With gratitude, we thank both Zypora Spaisman and Dan Katzir for allowing us to glimpse the sincerity and beauty of Yiddish theater."

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NFL Press

Maitland McDonagh / TV Guide:

"Katzir's documentary is as much a labor of love as Spaisman's theater... his interviews are vivid windows into a bygone world, and Spaisman herself, a feisty firebrand, is a formidable personality. You don't have to be Jewish to be awed by her total commitment to preserving the Yiddish language and culture of her youth."

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NFL Press

Rob Humanick / Slant Magazine:

" ...it is through the film's shared determination with its central figure that it becomes an illuminating ode to the struggle of the artist... The film's candid personalities provide plenty of memorably off-the-cuff moments... but it is Zypora's singular commitment toward upholding her heritage against the oppression of a modern society that lingers in the mind. Unfazed by the limitations of her old age, her passion echoes that of another great artist now departed from this earth. Said Robert Altman at the prospect of retirement: "You're talking about death, right?""

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NFL Press

Shmulik Duvdevani / YNET (Israel):

"Moving... a contemporary suspense film set against the backdrop of an old world and a vanishing culture."

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NFL Press

Phil Hall / Film Threat:

"Dan Katzir's film is, in many ways, an elegy to the Yiddish theater. Spaisman, who was 84 when the film was shot, comes across as a spry and lively personality who lived and breathed the "show must go on"? axiom."

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NFL Press

S.A. Deddo / Encino Sun:

"A passionate affair between the Yiddish stage and a seemingly frail little woman from the old country. Her name is Zypora Spaisman, and though you may not have heard of her, many have been moved by her inspiring life. Yiddish Theater: A Love Story seems destined for widespread recognition and “favorite� status among audiences Jewish and non-Jewish, young and old."

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NFL Press

Tom Tugend, The Jerusalem Post:

"Katzir is passionate about innocence, a word and concept barely mentioned in polite conversation these days."

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NFL Press

China Reevers, East Lansing Entertainment Guide in Michigan:

"The themes of respecting what is old and living life to the fullest play together and pull the audience in. It is a film that is for everyone and anyone. It is not just an old woman's story, but the story of how important life is and how beautiful it can be.

This film is very raw and very real and even the background, New York, is displayed in a fashion not seen in many movies. It is not the landmarks that are highlighted, but the common streets and the gritty subways. The scenery complements the theme, suggesting longevity that is often forgotten and overlooked.

Zypora Spaisman is a woman who teaches more than just Yiddish theater, but also the necessity to fight and dream and believe until the end - and that is a lesson everyone can learn."

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NFL Press

Caroline Lagnado, The Forward, NY:

"Filmmaker Dan Katzir is the last person anyone would expect to fall in love with Yiddish. Growing up in a prominent Israeli family with strong Zionist beliefs -- his great-great-uncle was former Israeli prime minister Moshe Sharet, and his great-uncle was former Israeli president Efraim Katzir -- he had been brought up to be averse to Yiddish language and culture, revering Hebrew and Israeli culture instead."

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NFL Press

Sue Liberman, National Jewish News, Los Angeles:

"I sat in the theater and laughed and cried. I looked around and was happy to see youngsters, as well as some older people in the audience... But the most interesting thing for me were the issues this film brought to the forefront..."

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NFL Press

Ron Fogel / Seret (Israel):

"I walked in... tired after another long day's work, but after about two minutes the film managed to wake me up and I found myself fascinated with some old charming lady... A very good documentary is one that the reality it depicts stays with us long after the the curtain went down and the lights went up. I was haunted by the look of the film's heroine bravely fighting her destiny - in the snow, in the theater and in her humble home, and all this comes to say that Yiddish Theater: A Love Story is a most worthy work of art and one of the best films you'll find in town these days.""

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NFL Press

Allan I. Ross, East Lansing City Pulse in Michigan:

"'Yiddish Theater' has the anxiety of an execution flick, with its deliberate countdown-to-extinction style."

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NFL Press

Michael Fox, San Diego Jewish Journal:

"Dan Katzir's valuable documentary... is a vital portrait of Jewish lives. He's a typically brusque and unsentimental Israeli, which doesn't mean that he is without empathy but simply that he's more attuned to the future than the past. He might not be the obvious candidate to make a documentary called Yiddish Theater: A Love Story , but he proves to be the right one."

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NFL Press

Leah B. Stern, The Jerusalem Post:

"The glint in her eye and her magical enthusiasm sparked his interest, says Katzir."

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NFL Press

Felicia Tomasko, Edhat Santa Barbara, CA:

"The trio complimented producer Ravit Markus on her documentary Yiddish Theater... Speaking of fashion, Markus was sporting some hip cowboy boots, which she said she bought after moving to the U.S., where she felt cowboy boots were somehow a necessity. Markus and director Dan Katzir were making plans with festival staff for an additional screening of the heartwarming and funny documentary about the cultural art of Yiddish Theater, nearly lost after the Holocaust. Actress Zypora Spaisman insists in the film that even though she is in her 80s, she is still young. She is."

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NFL Press

The Jerusalem Post:

"Katzir is passionate about innocence, a word and concept barely mentioned in polite conversation these days."

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NFL Press

Tom Tugend, Los Angeles Jewish Journal:

"When Dan Katzir saw the classic Yiddish play "Grine Felder" (Green Fields) in New York about three years ago, he was so moved that he cried at the end. That was an unusual emotional reaction for a self-possessed young sabra and a former lieutenant in the paratroops, the more so since he hardly knew a word of Yiddish."

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NFL Press

Jewish-theater.com:

"This is the story of the roller coaster ride of fringe theater, of a culture fighting to survive and of one extraordinary woman's fight to keep her show alive, knowing that if it won't she will die as well."

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NFL Press

Malina Saval, Moment Magazine:

"At first glance, Dan Katzir seems woefully miscast as a champion of Yiddish theater in the United States."

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NFL Press

Miriam Hofman, The Forward:

"There was a long favorable article about Yiddish Theater: A Love Story on the home page of the most important Yiddish newspaper in the US."

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NFL Press

Rachel Green Savage, Culture Wars, Institute of Ideas, London:

"The film is an ode to Yiddish theatre as well as a prayer for its continuance. Coming out of the film, however, is also an important arts policy question... We ask ourselves whether funding Yiddish theatre is any more or less worthy a pursuit than supporting plays in ancient Greek."

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NFL Press

Marina at Mad about Movies :

"...it’s hard to watch... and not feel the warm and fuzzies for such an energetic lady. I want to be like her when I grow up... I hope it gets a bit of a wider distribution or a nice DVD release down the road. I’d love the chance to cozy up with Spaisman. "

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NFL Press

Adam Hetrick at Playbill.com :

"The late Yiddish Theatre impresaria Zypora Spaisman and the Folksbiene, the longest-running Yiddish Theatre in the world, are the subject of a new documentary... The Yiddish Theatre is credited for establishing many Yiddish phrases in the American vernacular. "Yiddish Theater: A Love Story" will return to its cultural roots... "

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