WASHINGTON JEWISH FILM FESTIVALWASHINGTON JEWISH MUSIC FESTIVAL
The Ancient Law with live accompaniment by Alicia Svigals and Donal Sosin
Dir. Ewald André Dupont | 135 min
Silent Film with English Subtitles
Tuesday, May 217:30 PM AFI Silver Theatre
Baruch, a rabbi’s son, yearns to become an actor so, against his father’s wishes, leaves his shtetl for the Vienna stage. But success cannot quell Baruch’s guilt and longing for home. A precursor to The Jazz Singer, The Ancient Law is one of the first films to have addressed the subject of assimilation and features visually stunning depictions of shtetl life.
This gem of German-Jewish cinema will be shown with an original live score by the extraordinary violinist Alicia Svigals (The Klezmatics, The Yellow Ticket) and pianist Donald Sosin.
Alicia Svigals was one of the founders in 1986 of the band the Klezmatics, and co-led the ensemble until 2001. With them, she appeared on A Prairie Home Companion, Rosie O’Donnell’s Kids are Punny, Good Morning America, MTV News, Nickelodeon, and NPR’s New Sound and Weekend Edition. As a composer for the group, she provided music for the play A Dybbuk by Tony Kushner, and collaborations with poet Allen Ginsbergand Israeli singer Chava Alberstein. They also performed with Itzhak Perlman on PBS’ Emmy-winning Great Performances documentary In the Fiddler’s House and on the Late Show with David Letterman, and appeared together in concert at Radio City Music Hall, Tanglewood, and Wolf Trap.
Donald Sosin has been enthralling audiences in the US and Europe with his silent film music for over thirty years. Born in 1951, he grew up in Rye, NY, and Munich. He studied piano with Kyriena Siloti, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia University, studying composition with William Albright and Jack Beeson. He was the resident film accompanist at the Museum of Modern Art in the late 70’s, and returns there frequently as a guest pianist.