Cine-concert: the silent film "Manasse" by Jean Mihail (1925) with original music by Tal Balshai

30 January 18:30

"The piano accompaniment to 'Manasseh' is a labour of love for me. The film itself is a cultural gem, and by integrating Jewish melodies I wanted to create a connection to my own cultural identity. At the same time, I hope that the audience can experience the universal language of music and grasp the depth of the film's plot on an emotional level. " (Tal Balshai)

When: Tuesday, 30 January 2024, at 18:30
Where: The Embassy of Romania in the Federal Republic of Germany (Dorotheenstraße 62-66, 10117 Berlin)

Participation is free of charge, subject to seat availability, and is on a reservation basis at the e-mail address: anmeldung@rki-berlin.de

The Romanian Cultural Institute "Titu Maiorescu" Berlin and the Embassy of Romania in the Federal Republic of Germany cordially invite you to a cine-concert as part of the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust. This year's focus is on the importance of educating the public about the culture and history of Romanian Jews.

In the opening credits Dr Felicia Waldman will give a brief introduction to the social and historical context of the creation of the play on which the film Manasseh is based. She will shed light on the challenges faced by the Jewish community in Romania in the first decades of the 20th century. Bernd Buder, the programme director of the Jewish Film Festival Berlin Brandenburg, will also talk about Jewish film and its perception in Germany. (Lectures in English)
In addition, a short video "In memoriam Dan M. Schlanger" will be shown, which was created in 2023 (producer: Arpad Harangozo, video editing: Andreea Serpe, script: Daniela Simona Macovei). This video is a summary of the life and personality of the Romanian-Israeli-Canadian director, actor and film producer, who previously directed the Jewish Film Festival in Bucharest and tragically passed away in 2023.

The film Manasse was inspired by the play of the same name by Ronetti Roman (1853-1908). Set partly in the town of Fălticeni and dealing with religious intolerance, the film is extremely dramatic and visually remarkable, with a beautiful love story between a Romanian, Matei Frunza, and a Jewish woman, Lelia, the granddaughter of Manasse Cohen. Celebrated as "Film of the Year", the silent film Manasse, directed by Jean Mihail, became a milestone in the history of Romanian cinema when it was released in 1925.

Tal Balshai, pianist, composer and arranger, studied classical and jazz piano in Jerusalem, Berlin and New York. Successful concerts have taken him as a pianist and accompanist to major venues around the world, such as La Scala in Milan, the state operas in Hamburg, Berlin and Vienna, the Teatro Real in Madrid and the Salzburg Festival. He accompanies silent films from the piano and developed a musical concept for the 1927 mountain film comedy "Der große Sprung" using the film hits by W.R. Heymann, whose original score was destroyed during the Second World War. The music and lyrics of Jewish artists who were expelled from Germany in 1933 - from Weill and Eisler to Heymann and other Berlin film composers of the 1930s - characterise his long-standing artistic collaboration with the opera star Angela Denoke and the actress Dagmar Manzel.

The screening of the film Manasse, with English subtitles, takes place with the support of the National Film Centre, the National Film Archive - Romanian Cinematheque and the Jewish Film Festival Berlin & Brandenburg (JFBB).