The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground
For more than 20 years, the Klezmatics have been at the vanguard of the international revival in Jewish music. And though not every band deserves its own movie, the Klezmatics restless energy, infectious performances and candour make for a rousing documentary.
Early scenes with lead vocalist Lorin Sklamberg poignantly establish the importance of Yiddish as a touchstone for both klezmer music and contemporary Jewish identity. But the music-making soon takes centre stage.
In concert footage ranging from the USA to Berlin and Israel, the band plumbs the depths of Yiddish song, pays tribute to Woody Guthrie's Jewish oeuvre, and collaborates with all-star guests such as Joshua Nelson and Chava Alberstein.
The film combines concert footage and the best elements of backstage documentary for an eye-opening lesson in remixing contemporary Jewish cultural idioms.