Documentary film director Larry Weinstein, born 1956 in Toronto, Canada, not only reflects on Jewish Christmas in a Chinese restaurant but also, with the help of a wealth of archive footage and interviews with composers and fellow creative artists, takes viewers on an entertaining 50-minute journey through the history of some of the most well-known American Christmas songs composed and written by Jews. And he uncovers a number of surprising facts in the process. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, for instance, turns out to be the most Jewish Christmas carol of them all, and White Christmas was also penned by a Jewish composer. These individuals thus, according to Weinstein, played their part in the “secularisition” of Christmas. Weinstein looks back on a whole generation of Jewish immigrants who made careers in the music industry in the USA; often under “less Jewish-sounding” stage names like Irving Berlin or Jay Livingston.
Text: Stefanie Borowsky
English: Peter Rickerby
On 13.6., 19:00 at Thalia - Das Programmkino, Eli Batalion and Jamie Elman, curators of the JFBB series "YidLife Crisis in Film and Other Canadian-Jewish Stories", will give an introduction before the screening.