Synopsis by Mark Deming
Poland was once a hub of European Jewish culture, and in recent years, the nation has witnessed a rebirth of interest in Jewish music and art, as well as increased awareness of the issues and legacy of the Holocaust. But, while a new generation of Poles have embraced klezmer, the upbeat Yiddish folk-dance music often called "Jewish jazz," the fact is that, in the wake of the Axis pogroms of World War II and continued immigration, there are precious few Jews still remaining in Poland, and the few who attend klezmer concerts there are often tourists who taking part in packaged tours that focus on Poland's Jewish legacy and memorials to the Holocaust. The Klezmaniacs are an American klezmer ensemble who were booked to play in Krakow as part of a festival of Jewish music held there; vocalist Shira Shazeer invited her grandmother, Alta Frohman, a Polish Jew who survived the Holocaust, to accompany the group as a translator, and filmmaker Yale Strom tagged along with a small camera crew. The documentary Klezmer on Fish Street is a record of their experiences, as Strom and The Klezmaniacs examine Poland, the legacy of Jewish culture in a nation without Jews, and the commercial exploitation of the Holocaust while Frohman struggles to find evidence of the Poland she knew as a girl. Klezmer on Fish Street was cited as a Special Jury Selection at the 2003 Palm Beach International Film Festival.
ancestry, artist, cultural-traditions, culture [arts], homeland, Jewish, nostalgia, Poland, Polish [nationality], return, tourist