The UK Jewish film festival features screenings across the country from 1-18 November, but we’re especially lucky in London as we will be able to see Edward Sloman’s 1925 silent classic His People, with a new improvised score. The film is set in Manhattan and film historian Tom Gunning praised it, saying that: “few silent films give so thorough a picture of Jewish home life in the American ghetto”.
This is an exciting chance to see the work of a director whose work Kevin Bownlow described as: “remarkable … with a very American smoothness of narrative”. Unfortunately, very many of Sloman’s pictures are now lost, but His People was his biggest commercial success, taking millions at the box office on its original release. It also stars Rudolph Schildkraut, one of the director’s favourite actors: “Whatever you planned with Schildkraut always came off – sometimes even better than you’d dreamed it. Rudolph Schildkraut was one of the great actors of his era,” he told Brownlow in The Parade’s Gone By.
The festival website has this to say about the film:
A rare opportunity to see one of the most evocative films of the 1920s with a new, live score. The sights and smells of New York’s bustling immigrant Jewish Lower East Side have seldom been captured better than in this sparkling tale of a generational clash of cultures. The two sons of a Jewish migrant family opt for different paths in life and love, but as the story progresses, assumptions about good and bad are soon firmly challenged.
A classic morality tale with a bold, contemporary cinematic feel, accompanied by an improvised live soundtrack from Sophie Solomon, (violinist and artistic director of the Jewish Music Institute), Quentin Collins (trumpet), Ian Watson (accordion) and Grant Windsor (piano).
To win a pair of tickets to see His People at the Barbican, just send the answer to this question to firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on Friday 9 November. The winner will be chosen at random from the correct entries.
- His People director Edward Sloman was born in Britain – but in which city?
His People screens at 7.30pm on 13 November 2012 at the Barbican Cinema. To book tickets, please click here.