Browsing the archives for the Ladino song tag.

Israeli Comedy and a Moving Personal Portrait

Film, Lily's notes

A Matter of Size, is a fun Israeli comedy, about the revolt of overweight people who find their new positive self-image and self confidence as Sumo wrestlers, yes, Sumo wrestlers in Israel. Sumo is a sport where fat people are honored.

This comedy is so perfectly over the top that we frequently squirmed as we laughed: the scene at a Weight Watchers type meeting led by an hysterical raving critical monster of a group leader was any one’s nightmare! And funny! Sumo wrestlers walking barefoot in their Sumo “diapers” followed by the pe0ple of the small town taking photos with their cells was hilarious.

This film could travel and be enjoyed by audiences here in the US, we  just need  Americans to agree to read sub-titles; it is a well-made comedy.

In contrast, Fiestaremos, is an intimate, moving portrait of  the musician and musicologist, Judith Frankel. This is an American film. Judith Frankel painstakingly researched Sephardic songs sung in Ladino,  by meeting with families and learning their songs, pronunciation and building long-term friendships.

This personal collecting in the field is a  very specialized form of musicology, and Frankel was a fine singer and guitarist, who was able to collect and play these songs beautifully. It was a complete pleasure to be  embraced by this warm and lovely film. The American Sephardi Federation/Sephardic House had her excellent CDs on sale and we have been enjoying listening to them.

Fiestaremos and A Matter of Size were both screened at The Sephardic Film Festival of 2010, and illustrate well the spectrum of films which were shown.

This is a small, but fine festival which I would recommend you put on your list for next year.

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