Seekers of Happiness
Iskateli schastya

aka Birobidzhan, A Greater Promise
USSR, 1934, 84 minutes, b&w
Russian with English subtitles
Directed by Vladimir Korsh-Sablin


RESTORED
with complete new English Subtitles by
The National Center for Jewish Film

DVD - Educational Use
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DVD - Home Use
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Arrange a Screening
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Contact us at jewishfilm(at)brandeis(dot)edu
or call 781-736-8600 to book now

Public Exhibition Format: Beta

Synopsis
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During the late 1920s, many impoverished Jews searching for a better life made their way to Birobidzhan, the Soviet Jewish Autonomous Region on the Chinese border. This melodrama tells the story of a Jewish family's immigration to Birobidzhan and their experiences as settlers on a collective farm in the area.

While the family encounters hardships in adjusting to this new way of life (including son-in-law Pinya's greedy, misguided search for gold) their search for assimilation is ultimately shown as positive. While the film is essentially a Soviet propaganda piece emphasizing the utopian dream of Birobidzhan as a socialist Jewish homeland, the reality of the area was harsh and inhospitable.

Selected Screenings

Filmhaus Nürnberg; Nuremberg, Germany (2009)
Toronto Jewish Film Festival (2004)
New York Jewish Film Festival (1999)

NCJF Film Restoration
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Restoration was completed with funding from the friends and family of Barney Ash with additional support by Brandeis University, The Massachusetts Cultural Council, The National Endowment for the Arts & Gosfilmofond

Credits
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Director Vladimir Korsh-Sablin
Screenplay Iogan Zeltser & Grigori Kobets
Camera B. Ryabov, V. Pokrovsky
Sound Engineer N. Kosarev
Music Issac Dunayevsky
Consultant S.M. Mikhoels

1996 Restoration © The National Center for Jewish Film
Executive Director Sharon Pucker Rivo
Associate Director Miriam Saul Krant
Technical Director Rich Pontius
Translator Robert Szulkin
On-line Editor Sylvia Fuks Fried
Title Production Tina Schonning
Film Transfer Cinema Arts
Post Production CF Video

Cast
Venyamin Zuskin (Pinya)
Maria Blyumenthal-Tamarina (Dvoira)
L. Schmidt (Rosa)
L. Taits (Basya)
A. Karev (Natan)
S. Yarov (Korney)
B. Zhukovbsky (Korney's Father)
I. Byi-Brodsky (Shlyoma)

Purchase the Film
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 $36.00 + shipping
Home Use Policy (pdf)

Educational Use Pricing Explain
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$72.00 - DVD Classroom/Library Use + shipping

Educational purchase DOES NOT include public performance rights. Library/Classroom Use Policy (pdf)

Recommended Titles

Benya Krik

Jewish Luck

The Return of Nathan Becker

 

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