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SFS Film Society Discussion – “Hester Street”
Wednesday, September 28, 2022 @7:30pm-8:30pm
The SinaiFree Film Society will discuss the feature film “Hester Street”
We discussed Joan Micklin Silver’s “Crossing Delancey” in August, 2021. “Hester Street” was her 1975 directorial debut. A story of Jewish immigration and assimilation in 1896 New York City, it was filmed in black-and-white and features extensive dialogue in Yiddish. Silver was a rarity as both a female director in the early 1970s, and one who tackled specifically Jewish material. One male studio executive told Silver “feature films are very expensive to mount and distribute, and women directors are one more problem we don’t need.” Another called “Hester Street” “too ethnic.” Silver shot the film in 34 days, on a budget of $370,000. It grossed around $5 million in the US alone.
The film can be streamed on Kanopy (free), and rented on Amazon and Vudu ($2.99); YouTube, Apple TV and Google Play ($3.99); and Kino Now ($4.99). There are three DVDs in the Westchester Library System, and three DVDs in the New York Public Library.