Sunday, June 11, 7:30 PM, Cinema Dacia
Directed by Jean Mihail, 1925
Music and live performance: Volekh Quartet
The struggle between tradition and modernity on klezmer & ethno rhythms
Manasse, a classic of Romanian silent film newly restored by the National Film Archive, was directed by Jean Mihail, based on Ronetti-Roman's play. The film, partly shot in the town of Fălticeni, is about religious intolerance against the backdrop of a love story between a Romanian man and a Jewish woman, the granddaughter of Manasse Cohen. The cast includes Romald Bulfinsky (Manasse), George Aurelian (Matei Frunză), Dorina Demetrescu (Lelia), Maria Ciucurescu (Ester), Iosef Kamen (Zelig Șor), Ion Constantiniu (Emil Horn), Alexandru Finți (Lazăr).
Hailed as "the film of the year" when it was released in 1925, Manasse is a landmark in the history of our cinema, daring to adapt for the screen a play that, only a decade earlier, had been withdrawn from the National Theatre in Bucharest amid nationalist and anti-Semitic protests.
The Volekh Quartet complements the film's many twists and turns with an original instrumental score, combining elements of chamber music with themes discovered in archival sources, klezmer, ethno and lute rhythms. The Volekh Quartet is an acoustic klezmer ensemble from Bucharest, exploring connections between traditional Yiddish and Romanian music repertoires from Wallachia and Moldova.