Jewish and Israeli Music in Films

Database of documentaries, features and other film footage that contain relevant materials on Jewish and Israeli music. It also includes articles that discuss aspects of Jewish and Israeli musical representation in films.

This is How We Build Musical Instruments Made of Plants

This film stars and is narrated by 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade children from the Maoz Chaim kibbutz. It follows the young boys as they search for material from which to assemble homemade instruments. The materials are then brought back and the boys build drums, stringed instruments, and flutes while the girls decorate them. Once that is complete the children sing and dance with the instruments.

Material Type: 
Films
Year: 
1960

The Unfortunate Bride

Directed by Maurice Schwartz

This 1926 silent film was re-edited and had dialogue and music added to it in 1932. It's theme is similar to many other Yiddish films of that era. It is about the conflict between the traditional and modern ways of life that greeted Jewish immigrants upon their arrival in America.

Material Type: 
Films

Sabbath Bride

Directed by Naomi Gryn

Sabbath bride is a documentary film about Sabbath in London. It features prayers and music along with interviews and Sabbath food.

 

Excerpt from film that features singing of different pieces:

 

Additional excerpt from the film about Havdala:

Material Type: 
Films
Year: 
1987
Photo taken from Naomigryn.com

Stan Getz: A Musical Odyssey

Directed by Herbert Dorfman

Documentary about jazz saxaphonist Stan Getz's three week trip to Israel tour of Israel in 1977 where he played with "local musicians, including a Kurdish drummer, an Arab quartet, a Hassidic wedding band and a Yemenite dance troupe adapting his unique style to the various ethnic sounds of Israel."

Material Type: 
Films
Year: 
1978
Photo taken from the National Center for Jewish Film

Singing in the Dark

Directed by Max Nosseck  

This film is one of the first Hollywood films to deal with the Holocaust and starts cantor and star of the Yiddish cinema Moyshe Oysher in his only English language role. It is about a cantor who is a holocaust survivor with traumatic amnesia and who can only sing when he is inebriated.

Film include footage shot in the historic Levetzow Synagogue in Berlin that was razed shortly thereafter.

Excerpt from the film:

Material Type: 
Films
Year: 
1956
Photo taken from the National Center for Jewish Film

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