Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute

Image from the film of a man pointing at another man. Image links to event page.



Film Screening & Discussion. SHTTL
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Please join the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies and the Harriman Institute for a screening of SHTTL, followed by a conversation with scholars Agnieszka Legutko and Stewart Weinstock.

A young man returns from Kyiv to his rural shtetl to settle old feuds and reunite with the love of his life, who is betrothed to the rabbi’s successor. This single-take film (like Sam Mendes’ 1917), shot in expressionistic black and white, captures a day in the life of a Jewish village in 1941 on the eve of its eradication. The Yiddish-speaking cast (including Moshe Lobel, from Broadway’s Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, and Saul Rubinek) brings a vanished world back to vibrant life, discussing, debating, and fighting over questions of Jewish tradition and modernity that feel contemporary in their urgency. (114 minutes)

This event will take place entirely in-person at the Yavitz-Calder Lounge in Columbia’s Uris Hall. The film screening will begin at 7:00 PM, with a brief talk and Q&A after its conclusion.

Agnieszka Legutko is Lecturer in Yiddish and Director of the Yiddish Language Program at Columbia University. She specializes in modern Yiddish literature, language, and culture, women and gender studies, and spirit possession in Judaism. She is the author of a historical guidebook, Krakow’s Kazimierz: Town of Partings and Returns (2004, 2009), and her publications have appeared in several journals and essay collections on Yiddish literature and culture, such as Cwiszn, Bridges, Lilith, Jewish Quarterly, Silent Souls? Women in Yiddish Culture (2010), Dybbuk: Na Pograniczu Dwóch Światów (2017), and Theatermachine: Tadeusz Kantor in Context (2020).

Stuart Weinstock, the IIJS Film Series Coordinator, is a writer, a director, and a professor of Film. He earned his BA in Film Studies and Psychology from Columbia College, and his MFA in Directing from Columbia’s School of the Arts. His short films have screened and won awards at film festivals worldwide. Stuart has taught Film courses at Ramapo College of New Jersey, Mercy College, and the New York Film Academy. His courses for Columbia include Topics in American Cinema: the History of Comedy, Auteur Study: Steven Spielberg, and New Hollywood: 1967-1980.