Jewish Studies Film and Music
Sunday, September 10, 2017Time
College Center Villard Room
The Yellow Ticket is a multimedia event featuring a rare 1918 silent film and an original score by renowned klezmer violinist/vocalist/composer Alicia Svigals, performed live along with Toronto's virtuoso new-music pianist Marilyn Lerner.
Alicia Svigals is the world's foremost klezmer fiddler, a founder of the Grammy-winning Klezmatics and a 2014 NEA MacDowell Fellow in composition. “The Yellow Ticket,” a very early production of the German film company UFA-Pagu, was made at the end of World War I and on the eve of the Russian revolution. It stars an adolescent Pola Negri, who would later become the legendary femme fatale of the silent era, and tells the story of a young Jewish woman from a Polish shtetl who is constrained by anti-Semitic restrictions to lead a double life in a brothel while attempting to study medicine in Tsarist Russia. The film includes precious footage of the former Jewish quarter of Warsaw and the people who once lived there.
Pre-eminent film scholar Tom Gunning said about the score: "I believe this accompaniment to The Yellow Ticket is one of the most powerful I have heard. It evokes not only a sense of the contemporary context of the culture in which the film took place, but our awareness of what was done to it afterwards. The sound of piano, violin and the human voice evoke passion, energy and a profound sense of mourning, bridging the historical distance between us and this film as eloquently as does Pola Negri’s extraordinary face."
Jewish Studies Program