Hester Street (1975) torrent download

Hester Street

1975

Action / Drama / Romance

6.9

Synopsis

It's 1896. Yankel Bogovnik, a Russian Jew, emigrated to the United States three years earlier and has settled where many of his background have, namely on Hester Street on the Lower East Side of New York City. He has assimilated to American life, having learned English, anglicized his name to Jake, and shaved off his beard. He is working at a $12/week job as a seamster, the money earned to be able to bring his wife Gitl and his son Yossele to America from Russia. Regardless, he has fallen in love with another woman, a dancer named Mamie Fein. Nonetheless, he is excited when he learns that Gitl and Yossele are indeed coming to America. His happiness at their arrival is dampened when he sees that Gitl is not "American" looking like Mamie and has troubles assimilating as quickly as he would like. Except to Mamie, he tries to show a public façade that everything is fine at home with Gitl. But can their marriage survive these differences, and if not, will Gitl be able to manage in this new...

Director

Joan Micklin Silver

Cast

Doris Roberts
as Mrs. Kavarsky
Joanna Merlin
as Jake's Landlady
Stephen Strimpell
as Joe Peltner

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Galina_movie_fan 10 /10

Once Upon a Time On Hester Street

Joan Micklin Silver's directorial debut is a lovely, funny, warm, and observant historical drama-comedy about Jewish immigrants who left the little shtetl in Russia in the end of the 19th century for the hopes of better life and success in America. The film tells the story of a young couple, Jake (Steven Keats) and Gitl (Carol Kane). The husband came to Lower East End of Manhattan five years before his family and has gladly accepted American way of life making transition from Yankel to a Yankee, losing his beard and side curls on a way to become a real American and falling in love with Mamie Fine, attractive and independent young woman, an immigrant herself. When his wife Gitl and their son Yossi (Joey) arrive from Russia and join him in the flat at Hester Street, Jake is torn between his desire "to live like educated people in an educated country" and his wife's quiet but firm holding on to the traditions of Old Country. More likely, their marriage was arranged by their families in Russia and they don't have much in common when they meet after having lived separately in two different worlds for five years. The film concentrates on Gitl, quiet, gentle, pious seemingly fragile and naive young woman with huge dark eyes who has to make very serious decisions about her new life and how to make sense of it.

Everything about this small independent movie is fine - its authentic look that was achieved by beautiful B/W cinematography, its soundtrack that uses the music by Herbert L. Clarke, a composer and famous cornet player; the dialogs in two languages, English and Yiddish, full of very unique humor that still shines. There are no villains in the story and no stereotypes. All characters have one thing in common - one day, they took a chance to start over, to leave their past behind, to movie to the absolutely new unknown world with the different language, customs, traditions, rhythm of life and to try to survive and succeed and not to lose their unique identity. Comic, moving, warm, lyrical, with the loving attention to the smallest details, with the love and understanding for its characters, "Hester street" is a perfect example of an independent art movie that was made on the shoe string budget, had difficulties to find distributors, but luckily did not get lost, found its way to the viewers, and brought Jewish ethnicity to the screen. One does not have to be an Art movie buff or an immigrant to enjoy "Hester Street". The simple story of a young traditional woman's transformation and coming to terms with her new life can be enjoyed by any viewer regardless their age, gender, or ethnic background.

Carol Cane is fantastic as Gitl and more than deserves her Academy Award nomination for the Best Leading Actress. Doris Roberts (Marie of "Everybody Loves Raymond") is equally good as Gitl's and Jake's neighbor, Mrs. Kavisnky who becomes Gitl's friend and adviser.

Reviewed by mercuryix N/A

Carol Kane's Absolute Best

If you're a Carol Kane fan, and haven't seen this film, run out and rent it now (if you can find it). But don't expect the usual eccentric comic character Ms. Kane usually plays.

Filmed in black & white, this is a very atmospheric period piece about a traditional Jewish wife in turn-of-the-century America, whose husband is dissatisfied with her and wants a more modern woman. Carol Kane plays a quiet, thoughtful wife who somehow commands the screen just by sitting there and watching the selfish, thoughtless people rant and rave about her. She is a truer definition of a hero than any of the action heroes that have come out of Hollywood in the past 30 years; thoughtful, indefatiguable and irrepressible, despite the fact that she is firmly part of the traditional Jewish community where women subjugate themselves to men.

This is not an action piece; it's a character and period piece about surviving with dignity despite poverty, repression and injustice. This is the best performance by Carol Kane I have seen, not because she can't do better, but because she hasn't been given another role this thoughtful and dynamic. If she is given more roles like this in the future, she will again prove she is one of the best actresses in the country. A great film and a great performance.

Eight out of ten stars.

Reviewed by edwagreen 8 /10

***Hester St." Pure Shmaltz

It was said that when Carol Kane was notified that she had been nominated for best actress, she had just returned home from the Unemployment Division.

"Hester Street" is the story of impoverished Jews at the end of the 19th century in New York City.

A low budget film, it recounts the story of a woman arriving from Europe with her young son to her husband, who has been in the U.S. for a while.

Her husband has become a real "American" while she will struggle to assimilate. Fact is, she just can't do that.

To make ends meet, a border lives in the house which was a very common practice then. (Kane winds up with him by the end of the film.)

Doris Roberts, in a brief appearance, is funny with her line that 2 women with their rear ends can't be in the same kitchen at one time.

As the couple, Carol Kane and the late Steven Keats are perfect examples of a Jewish couple, whose relationship was obviously arranged in Europe. They really have nothing in common other than their Jewish faith, and this becomes quite evident once the Kane character joins her husband in America.

By film's ending, the couple are divorcing by getting the Jewish "get." (divorce) By Jewish law, the husband can marry immediately but the wife will have to wait for 90 days before she can do this.

Kane's acting is excellent, especially with the effective use of Yiddish which she heard quite frequently in her Cleveland home.

The set decorations are excellent. You feel that you're in the typical Jewish home of that period.

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