Join us for a screening of the 1923 silent film Das alte Gesetz (The Ancient Law), a complex portrait of the tension between tradition and modernity. Directed by E.A. Dupont, with German/English intertitles. World-renowned klezmer violinist Alicia Svigals and celebrated silent film pianist Donald Sosin will be performing the live score.
Beautifully restored in 2017, with a superb cast (Henny Porten, Ernst Deutsch and others), it’s the story of a rabbi’s son who leaves the shtetl to become an actor at the Burgtheater in Vienna. The rabbi is not pleased. Porten plays an archduchess who develops an interest in the boy. Her courtiers are not pleased. Trouble ensues on both fronts.
The Musicians: Alicia Svigals, violin, and Donald Sosin, keyboard
Violinist/composer Alicia Svigals is the world’s leading klezmer fiddler and a founder of the Grammy-winning Klezmatics. She has worked with violinist Itzhak Perlman, the Kronos Quartet, playwrights Tony Kushner and Eve Ensler, poet Allen Ginsburg, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Debbie Friedman and Chava Albershteyn. Svigals was awarded a Foundation for Jewish Culture commission for her original score to the 1918 film The Yellow Ticket, and is a MacDowell fellow. With jazz pianist Uli Geissendoerfer, she recently released Beregovski Suite , a recording of contemporary interpretations of klezmer music from a long-lost Soviet Jewish archive.
Pianist/composer Donald Sosin grew up in Rye, NY and Munich, Germany. Since 1971 has performed his silent film music at Lincoln Center, MoMA, BAM, the National Gallery, Yale, Harvard, and major film festivals in the US and abroad (Pordenone, Bologna, Berlin, Moscow, Bangkok, Shanghai, etc). He records for various DVD labels: Criterion, Kino, Milestone and his scores are heard frequently on TCM. He and his family live in northwest Connecticut. Donald is currently touring with Alicia Svigals, performing their collaborative scores for The Ancient Law and City Without Jews.
Friday, April 1, 2022
3:00 – 5:45 PM Pacific Time
Royal Bank Cinema, The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts
6265 Crescent Rd, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Free and open to all.
Co-sponsored by the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, Public Humanities Hub, Centre for European Studies, UBC Diamond Chair in Jewish Law and Ethics, Department of History, Bachelor of Media Studies, Central, Eastern & Northern European Studies, and UBC Film Society.
Please also join us for a partner event, “Massy Reads: On Interdisciplinary Approaches to Film” on April 12, an online book launch and author conversation with UBC scholars Kyle Frackman, Ervin Malakaj, and Christopher Rea.