From an early age, Yossi Klein and other children of survivors living in Borough Park,
Brooklyn, were preparing for another
What is the film about?
The psychological ramifications of history. The choice between viewing ourselves as perpetual victims or resilient survivors. The search for a Post-Holocaust Judaism. It is the story of the stormy yet loving relationship between recovering Jewish activist Yossi Klein and his father Zoltan, who had
survived the Holocaust’s devastation of Hungarian Jewry by hiding in a
hole in the ground for six months. Meanwhile his parents perished at
After the war,
Zoltan didn’t see the point of bringing a
Jewish child into the world but his bride-to-be Breindy wouldn’t hear of
it. Once Yossi and his sister Karen were born, Zoltan was determined
to raise them to be emotionally prepared for another holocaust. The
story of his hiding in the forest and the murder of his parents became
his children’s bedtime stories.
Breindy tried to compensate by reading them Dr. Seuss books.
Supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Kaddish originally premiered at New Directors/New Films in 1984, went on to win a Special Jury Award in Documentary at Sundance, and made David Edelstein’s 1985 10 Best Films list in the Village Voice.
The film has received critical accolades ranging from New York Magazine (“a remarkable American documentary”) to the Los Angeles Times (“Superb ... nothing less than a spiritual odyssey”), the Washington Post (“remarkable for its sensitivity and immediacy”), St. Louis Globe-Democrat (“a riveting 90 minutes”), Boston Globe (“deeply felt ... disturbing”), Village Voice (“a stunning profile”), Variety (“an important film of lasting value”).
Kaddish is now
available as a 2-disc DVD for educational and home use. The 2-disc set
includes "extras" such as a "30 Years Later" interview with the film's
protagonist, Yossi Klein Halevi, an interview with filmmaker Steve
Brand, deleted scenes, the film's original pilot and a 12-page booklet.
We are happy to announce that the new 4K Restoration of this award-winning documentary had its World Premiere at the 2022 New York Jewish Film Festival at Lincoln Center.
The film was screened in-cinema as well as
virtually, accompanied by a Q&A with filmmaker Brand, film
protagonist Yossi Klein Halevi, and Aviva Weintraub, Director of the
New York Jewish Film Festival.
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Learn about upcoming screenings and when the DVD version (complete with Bonus Features) will be released!!
Let us know if you would like to bring KADDISH to your theater, educational facility, organization or community group and if you would like to invite filmmaker Steve Brand and/or Yossi Klein Halevi to appear with the film in-person or virtually: