Hester Street

1975

Action / Drama / Romance

15
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 71%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 62%
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 1210

Synopsis


Uploaded By: OTTO
March 25, 2015 at 02:40 AM

Cast

Carol Kane as Gitl
Doris Roberts as Mrs. Kavarsky
Lin Shaye as Whore
Joanna Merlin as Jake's Landlady
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
699.04 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 29 min
P/S counting...
1.24 GB
1920*1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 29 min
P/S 0 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by trilogyrich 10 / 10

Delightful film that evokes a unique era in Jewish and American history

I saw this movie when it premiered in 1975, and enjoyed it. Thanks to DVDs, we can watch and re-watch movies whenever we want. My wife has also become a fan of this film. The DVD's commentary by director Joan Micklin Silver and her producer husband, Raphael, is fascinating. If you are interested in the process of making movies, these commentaries are always a treasure trove of information and insight into the craft. Silver also directed Crossing Delancy, another classic, especially for anyone of the Jewish-American subculture, or familiar with it, though anyone who likes a love story will enjoy it as well.

To learn that the entire budget of Hester Street was $500,000 is astounding. This is a beautiful little movie that is driven by it's story and characters. Here is an unknown Carol Kane, who got the best actress nomination for this one, surrounded by great performances by veteran actors and first time non-actors alike. Doris Roberts does a fantastic job in a big role as the neighbor.

Reviewed by lasttimeisaw 8 / 10

it is a humdinger of a greenhorn's debut enterprise where sex is irrelevant.

Joan Micklin Silver is an unheralded, enterprising US indie filmmaking, a pathfinder for women daring to break the glass-ceiling in the probably most sexist post in the film industry. Her debut feature, produced by her late husband Raphael D. Silver, is based on Abraham Cahan's 1896 novella, an exclusively Jewish tale about immigrants who come to Lower East Side of NYC, and their acclimatisation of a new life in the land of hope, where the collisions of culture, religion and moral codes escalate attendantly.

Jake (Keats), whose yiddish name is Yankle, is a young Ashkenazi Jew from Russia, assimilates himself to the American lifestyle quite smoothly, staying in a tiny room on the titular street in Manhattan and earning his living as a seamster, he hooks up with a single dancer Mamie (Kavanaugh), who is also a Jewish immigrant, in a dancing ball during the opening sequences, where the vintage tactility honed up amazingly by Black-and-White graininess and yesteryear finesse, instantly charms and attracts viewers as a comedy skit from the silent era.

Jake is rakish, all spruced up, he is determined to erase his ethnic traces and aims to be a real Yankee, proudly. Through his impertinent jokes about a greenhorn, Silver seems to inform us, he is not a character we should show a certain amount of appreciation. Steven Keats comes into his own to characterise a stomach-churning impression defies any sympathy.

Jake's carefree bachelor days are over once his wife Gitl (Kane, who was Oscar-nominated for her brilliant calibre in seething intensity trapped inside a serene mound, and it is one of the most inspiring nominations accredited to the often publicity-steered Academy) arrives with their son Yossele (Freedman), whose name is changed to Joey under his insistence. In order to provide a place for the family reunion, Jake borrows Mamie's savings with an unwittingly false promise, and takes his co-worker, a bookish bachelor Mr. Bernstein (Howard) as a room to split the expense.

Gitl is a beautiful, unassuming and sensible girl, in everyone's eyes, she is the perfect wife should be cherished by her husband, especially to the neighbour Mrs. Kavarsky (the late Doris Roberts, thrust by her spitfire probity), her stalwart protector. But not for Jake, Gitl represents everything he is eager to jettison, their conjugal bond is flimsy with Mamie hovers around under the pretext of collecting her money. It always takes two to tango, at this step, if Mamie still wants Jake, and is willing to help him get out of the marriage, what else can we say? They truly deserve each other.

On the other hand, Gitl and Mr. Bernstein finds some kindred spirits under the aegis of Silver's tender characterisation confined in their cramped apartment. The third act can be captioned as "a divorce: Jewish style", improbably farcical thanks to the committed recreation of the scenario. Don't expect Gitl to relent under the influence of sentimentality or for the old time's sake, she might be a shrinking violet but never stupid, Jake is good-for-nothing, but at least, he has the knack to provide a handsome alimony for jilting his family.

HESTER STREET superbly overreaches its ethnographic demography and it is not merely a film for Jews only as it has been merchandised since its self-sustained distribution, in the eyes of a local Chinese who has never been to America or familiar with Jewish culture, the film enchants, seduces and competently relishes in a woman's self-reliant awakening in a foreign land, moreover, it teaches an edifying lesson about how important to preserve one's own distinctive traits without becoming homogeneous. Surely, it is a humdinger of a greenhorn's debut enterprise.

Reviewed by Edgar Allan Pooh 9 / 10

"The water in America is very tasty . . . "

. . . observes recent Russian immigrant Gitl Podkovnik (Carol Kane) in 1896, when there was no need for 12-ounce bottled water here because the U.S. had not yet been "fracked," and all our earthquakes were "natural." I've watched hundreds of films released by the Edison Manufacturing Company in the 1890s and 1900s, which feature a wide cross-section of the same sort of Jewish characters that HESTER STREET tries to recreate from a distance of seven decades. While HESTER STREET writer\director Joan Micklin Silver produces a somewhat-romanticized feature aimed at the tiny "Jewish ROOTS" niche market, Thomas Alva Edison's very hands-on productions brought depictions of this era of the American Jewish Experience home to the U.S. gentile masses AS IT WAS HAPPENING IN REAL TIME! It's one of History's great tragedies that Mr. Edison passed away just as his anti-Semite Michigan camping buddies Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh were chumming around with and influencing Germany's increasingly prominent Adolf Hitler. Had Tom been there to balance out Hank and Chuck's rabidly misanthropic viewpoints, it would have been less likely if not impossible to have The Holocaust.

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