Jacob Gordin's famous play transposes the Shakespeare story to turn-of-the-century Jewish Vilna. At a family seder the pious patriarchal father announces to his three daughters that he is dividing his fortune among them and going to Jerusalem to live out his days.
The father refuses to listen to the warning of his virtuous daughter who denied his authority by becoming a student in St. Petersburg. The scheming of one son-in-law and the self-righteous indolence of the other soon result in poverty and disgrace for the father. Much pain and agony ensue before the moral of the story unfolds.
With Der Yidisher Kenig Lir ...[Gordin] crystallized the Lower East Side conflicts between traditional, immigrant parents and their modern Americanized children."
J. Hoberman, Bridge of Light: Yiddish Film Between Two Worlds
ALSO BASED ON A JACOB GORDON PLAY
The Yiddish King Lear
Der Yidisher Kenig Lir
USA, 1935, 86 minutes
Yiddish with English subtitles
Directed by Harry Thomashefsky
Public Exhibition 16mm available