Here's how you can win a DVD of Eve Annenberg's film, Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish.
Correctly answer the following question and post that answer in the comments to this post before Monday morning, December 10th, at 9 am EST, making sure to use a valid email address. Keep a close eye on that email box to see if you've won.
Here's the question:
Some researchers believe that William Shakespeare had a secret Jewish connection, one that may even call his authorship of many of his works into question. What or who is that alleged secret Jewish connection?
Here is a synopsis of the film's plot:
The play Romeo and Juliet has been translated around the world. Now film director Eve Annenberg’s gritty, funny feature sets William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in contemporary New York City with Brooklyn-inflected English and Yiddish delivered by a talented cast. Aside from several Yiddish videos produced by the Orthodox community in Monsey, New York, Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish is the first film spoken in as much Yiddish in almost 60 years.
Ava, a wisecracking middle-aged E.R. nurse—and bitterly lapsed Orthodox Jew—undertakes a translation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet from old Yiddish to new Yiddish, in her pursuit of a Master’s degree. In over her head, she accepts help from two charismatic and ethically challenged (aka scamming), charming young Ultra Orthodox dropouts, Lazer and Mendy. When another ex-Orthodox leaver enchants her apartment with Kabbalah magic, the boys begin to live Shakespeare’s play in their heads, in a gauzy and lyrical alternate reality where everyone is Orthodox.
In what might be the first Yiddish “mumblecore” film, Annenberg creates a parallel universe (set in Williamsburg, Brooklyn), where Romeo and Juliet hail from divergent streams of ultra-Orthodox Judaism and speak their lines in street-smart Yiddish. The Bard may have never dreamed of the Montagues as Satmar Jews, but in this magical rendition, the story of feuding Orthodox families is strangely believable and timeless. The director conjures Chabadnicks (Lubavitch) as Capulets; the distinctions are subtle but astute viewers will be tickled by the detail. As they start to “modernize” and act in the archaic play, the young men fall under its rapturous incantation. Annenberg’s meditation on life and love in New York yields a rapprochement between Secular and ultra Orthodox Worlds.
By the end of this 92 minute confection—set to euphoric compositions by Joel Diamond, Lior, Basya Schecter and newcomers like Shmully Blesovsky and the entire ensemble—family is redefined, Shakespeare evaluated, Ava happier, and the viewer not only understanding a little Yiddish, but thinking that boys in long black coats and peyos can actually be really sexy and cute. A meditation on love and family—if the issues are not yet solved, they linger in the air like a little Kabbalah magic.