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Last Klezmer, The

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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(Nov 18, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Klezmer music, sometimes called Jewish "soul" music, has a rich and lengthy past, and now, a revitalized future. This festive Jewish band music originated in pre-World War II Poland, but now resonates in a cultural and musical revival all across America. THE LAST KLEZMER looks at one of the pioneers of this music, a remarkable, 69-year-old man named Leopold Kozlowski. An actor and musical consultant in Steven Spielberg's SCHINDLER'S LIST, Kozlowski is the last active Klezmer musician trained in the original, prewar tradition.

This spirited documentary follows Kozlowski as he returns, for the first time in fifty years, to the Polish village where he was raised. Though his parents were killed by the Nazis, and he himself spent much of the war in concentration camps, Kozlowski emerged from the experience devoted to keeping alive his cultural heritage and Klezmer music. As this charming and moving film shows, both Kozlowski and his music have survived and remain vibrant and inspiring.

Special Features:
- Deleted Scenes
- Theatrical Trailer
- Scene Selections
- Enhanced for 16x9 TVs
- Optional English subtitles

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Leopold Kozlowski
  • Directors: Yale Strom
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Russian
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: New Yorker
  • DVD Release Date: November 18, 2008
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001EOSDR8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,682 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Steve Ramm TOP 100 REVIEWER on January 5, 2009
Klezmer music has been popular among young Jews for the last decade and even "crossed over" to the general public with band such as the Klezmatics or clarinetist Andy Statman bridging it with country and bluegrass. But this Jewish folk music goes back to much further to the turn of the century in Russia and the Ukraine. Before World War II there were, literally, thousands of klezmer musicians. But the horrors created by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis all but eliminated these musicians - and their culture - during the Holocaust.

This film, a work of love by filmmaker and musician Yale Strom, was produced in 1994 but is making it's home video debut. During the 84 minutes of this film (actually a video as it was recorded on tape) Strom follows composer/pianist Leopold Kozlowski (whose family name was Kleinman) from Krakow, Poland, where he was (in 1994) a conductor and music teacher to the Ukraine to visit the locations where he was born, learned music and lived until he was forced to hide from the Nazis. HE was captured but his musical talents allowed him to live by playing in the camp bands. He escaped and, with others, hid in the forests. He lost both his parents as well as his yo9unger brother - also a talented musician. Strom follows Kozlowski as he says Yahrzeit (memorial prayers) at the sites where he lost family and friends. This is the crux of the film. Strom frames the story by showing the then 70-year-old musician conducting a local performance of "Fiddler On The Roof", so that the sadness of the middle section comes full circle at the end with Kozlowski teaching the tradition to the next generation.

The subtitles on this film - it's nearly all in Yiddish - are large and very easy to read. The film has a sound track though it does move at a fairly slow pace.
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