Laughter Through Tears
aka Through Tears
Public Exhibition Formats: 35mm, 16mm, Beta
Like Sholem Aleichem, on whose Motl Peysi: The Cantor's Son and The Enchanted Tailor stories Laughter Through Tears is based, director Gricher-Cherikover leavens pathos with humor in his earthy portrait of prerevolutionary shtetl life. Motl's father dies, leaving him to survive on his own in a changing world while the tailor Shimen-Elye buys a she-goat which mysteriously changes gender each time its new owner stops at the inn between Kozodoyevka, where he purchased the creature, and Zlodyevke, where he lives.
In accord with then-official Soviet policies against antisemitism (which were always as odds with prevailing popular sentiments), Gricher-Cherikover emphasizes the poverty and repression of Jews under Czarist rule. He capitalizes on the skills of the Moscow Art Theater's actors through close attention to facial expression and gesture, and particularly of child actor Moshele Silberman.
Mémorial de la Shoah, Paris (2007)
Ashkenaz Festival, Toronto (2006)
New York Jewish Museum (2001)
NCJF Film Restoration
Preservation and restoration was funded by Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Special thanks to Michael P. Schulhof, A. Alan Friedberg, Brandeis University, American Film Institute, Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, and Archivo Nacional de la Imagen Uruguay
1991 Restoration © The National Center for Jewish Film
Executive Director Sharon Pucker Rivo
Associate Director Miriam Saul Krant
Technical Coordinator Richard Pontius
Translator Moshe Waldoks
Consultant Sylvia Fulks Fried
Title Production Loren S. Miller
Title Animation Frame Shop
Laboratory John E. Allen, Inc.
Director Grigori Gritcher-Cherikover
Camera N. Farkash, F. Berigo-Darovski
Art Director I. Shpinel
Scenario Grigori Gritcher-Cherikover & I. Skvirsky
Produced by the All-Ukrainian Photo-Cinema Administration (VUFKU) under the direction of Grigori Gritcher
Digital Site Licensing (DSL) available - Contact us
Step down pricing for K-12 & public libraries may be available - Contact us
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Also based on work by Sholom Alechiem