with New English Subtitles

Starring Molly Picon
1938 Joseph Green
Yiddish Film Classic

Critical acclaim from Indiewire,
SF Bay Guardian
and more! (PDF)

Festival Screenings

Atlanta Jewish Film Festival  2018
Ann Arbor Jewish Film Festival
Twin Cities Jewish Film Festival
Haverford College Yiddish Culture Festival
Westchester Jewish Film Festival/ Jacob Burns Film Center
Chicago Jewish Film Festival
Atlantic Jewish Film Festival
Yiddish Film Festival at Yale University
Southampton Jewish Film Festival
Spertus - Chicago, IL (Lisa Rivo in attendance to introduce film)
Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival
Houston Jewish Film Festival
Worcester Yiddish Festival
Orange Country Jewish Film Festival
Vienna Jewish Film Festival
Medias Central European Film Festival
Cleveland Jewish Film Festival
Hebraica/ Sao Paulo Jewish Film Festival
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
(4 Screenings - San Francisco, Berkeley, Palo Alto, San Rafael)
Dallas 3 Stars Jewish Cinema
Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Charleston, SC
Real Art Ways; Hartford, CT
NCJF's 17th Annual Film Festival
LATIN AMERICAN PREMIERE - Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival BAFICI
Gainesville Jewish Film Festival
Washington Jewish Film Festival
Toronto Jewish Film Festival
Miami Jewish International Film Festival | SOLD OUT
Portland Jewish Film Festival
U.S. PREMIERE - New York Jewish Film Festival | SOLD OUT
AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE - Australia Jewish International Film Festival
EUROPE PREMIERE - Stockholm Jewish Film Festival
WORLD PREMIERE - Jerusalem International Film Festival | SOLD OUT

Press Coverage

"One of the five films to the see at the Jerusalem International Film Festival
– Yediot Aharonot
| Read Review

“It wouldn’t be the Jerusalem Film Festival without a Yiddish film from the National Center for Jewish Film in the U.S."
Jerusalem Post | Read Review

"Even if you know nothing about Yiddish culture, here are words to live by: Anything with Molly Picon is worth seeing. Mamele, Joseph Green’s marvelous comic melodrama finds the vastly talented actress taking care of her underemployed, unappreciative siblings and father. Made in Poland in 1938, when life was terrible for Jews and about to get unimaginably worse, Mamele screens in a new restoration."
– KQED Critic’s Pick, You Say Schlemiel, I Say Shlemazel

"1938's Mamele, in which late pixie queen Molly Picon plays a cheerfully suffering yenta Cinderella awaiting justice for her many sacrifices to a selfish family. She cooks, she cleans, she sings — what more do you want? Of course there's a happy ending."
– Dennis Harvey, San Francisco Bay Guardian (July 22, 2014)

"The N.Y. Jewish Film Festival has always been an excellent showcase for the restoration work of film archivists, most notably the National Center for Jewish Film; this year's program is no exception, with NCJF's latest Yiddish film revival, "Mamele," a vehicle for the multitudinous talents of Molly Picon...The archival programs are always among the festival's highlights for this critic.”
Jewish Week 12/31/13

“A sparkling gem of the New York Jewish Film Festival is the U.S. premiere of the restored Joseph Green-Konrad Tom’s 1938 Yiddish film Mamele.
Starring Molly Picon, the 5-foot-tall, 100 lb. phenom of Yiddish stage and screen, the film is set in Poland’s textile hub of Lodz… A Yiddish Cinderella, Picon shops, schleps, cooks, cleans, dreams of love and is the ”go to” person when someone has a problem — be it romance, or rescuing a youngster caught up in a shady scheme.
The setting is urban, the young men and women are 1930s fashionably dressed. There is nightclubbing, drinking, double-dealing, and– a handsome sweet musician across the courtyard. As tireless as the Energizer bunny, Picon is so delicious and quirky, you want to give her a knip in bekl (pinch her cheek).
In a dreamlike montage, she morphs — in stages — from a dancing little girl to a frail 78-year old dancing with her fingers and bobbing her head. Picon also launches the hit song “Abi Gezunt” (as long as you are healthy) which has become a standard for Yiddish performers down the decades. As for the romantic finale — it involves a scene-stealing ketzele (kitten) which will have cat lovers purring.”
- Jewish Daily Forward 1/20/14





Mamele belongs to Molly Picon, “Queen of the Yiddish Musical,” who shines as Mamele (little mother), the dutiful daughter keeping her family intact after the death of their mother. She's so busy cooking, cleaning, and matchmaking for her brothers and sisters that she has little time for herself, until she discovers the violinist across the courtyard!

Following their success with Yiddle with his Fiddle, Director Joseph Green and leading lady Molly Picon re-teamed for Mamele, which like Yiddle was shot in Poland. Set in Lodz, this musical comedy drama featuring Picon's trademark song Abi Gezunt, embraces the diverse gamut of interwar Jewish life in Poland, with its nogoodniks and unemployed, nightclubs and gangsters, and religious Jews celebrating Succoth.

NCJF 2013 HD Digital Restoration

Restoration was completed with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and a gift from the Rita & Stanley H. Kaplan Foundation in memory of Gladys & Saul Gwirtzman, with additional support from the Wellfleet Foundation, Brandeis University, the Massachusetts Cultural Council and The National Center for Jewish Film's Reel Funders.

Special Thanks to Hila & Gerry Feil, Miriam Saul Krant, Cinema Arts, Inc. and the American Film Institute


Directors Joseph Green & Konrad Tom
Producer Green Films, Warsaw (Joseph Green)
Screenplay Konrad Tom
Based on stage play by Meyer Schwartz
Music Abe Ellstein
Camera Seweryn Steinwurcel
Art Direction Jacob Kalich

2013 Restoration © The National Center for Jewish Film
Executive Director Sharon Pucker Rivo
Co-Director Lisa Rivo
Technical Director Rich Pontius
Academic Consultant Sylvia Fuks Fried
Translator Moshe Waldoks
Digital Restoration Colorlab
Post Production Modulus Studios

Molly Picon (Khavtshi Samet aka Mamele)
Edmund Zayenda (Schlesinger)
Max Bozyk (Berl Samet)
Gertrude Bullman (Berta Samet)
Simche Fostel (Nadirman)
Ola Shlifko (Jentka Samet)
Menashe Oppenheim (Maks Katz)
Karol Latowicz (Zeisher)
Max Perelman (Dawid Samet)
Ruth Turkow (Bailchi)
Lew Szrftzecer (Konchicker)
Max Bryno


USA Premiere Screening, NYJFF (Jan 2014)
Download Promo Postcard (PDF)

USA Premiere Screening, NYJFF (Jan 2014)
Download Press Release (PDF)

Home Use DVD: $29.95

Does not include Classroom or Library Use Rights or Public Performance Rights. More Information

Home Use Blu-Ray: $34.95

Does not include Classroom or Library Use Rights or Public Performance Rights. More Information


Classroom/Library Use DVD: $250

Does not include Public Performance Rights. More Information

Classroom/Library Use Blu-Ray: $250

Does not include Public Performance Rights. More Information

Digital Site Licensing (DSL) available - Contact us

Step down pricing for K-12 & public libraries may be available - Contact us

Arrange a screening - Contact us


Also Directed by Joseph Green

The Jester

A Letter to Mother

Yiddle with His Fiddle

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Poland, 1938, 97 minutes, B&W
Yiddish with New English subtitles
Directed by Joseph Green & Konrad Tom

with New English Subtitles by
The National Center for Jewish Film

Buy Now

Public exhibition formats: DCP, BluRay, DVD






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