Archive for January 23rd, 2011

I was looking online for some music to feature today and my ear turned toward klezmer music, the traditional music of the Jews of eastern Europe.  Think of  Fiddler on the Roof, with lively music that features the fiddle and clarinet.  As I was looking I came across a clip from a film I had not seen or heard of,  for that matter.  The clip featured a group of eastern European Jews playing their klezmer versus a group of Gypsies playing their similar, but slightly coarser, music in a sort of musical face-off.

The film was a French film from 1998 from Romanian director Radu Mihaileanu called Train de Vie which translates to Train of Life.  The story takes place in a small Jewish village in eatern Europe that has a local resident return from a neighboring village where the Nazis have entered and taken over, sending the residents away on trains to the camps.  He describes the horrors but nobody takes him seriously for he is , unfortunately, the village idiot.  But the rabbi sees that he is telling the truth and a plot is formed where they would procure a train and have local residents pose as Nazis to herd the townspeople on to the trains.  The trains would not go to the concentration camps, however.  They would head for Palestine.

It has the feel, from what I read, of a Life is Beautiful, the Roberto Benigni film about the Holocaust that had comic elements concerning a tragic event in history.  A delicate line to tread.

Whatever the case, it looks interesting.  I’ll have to try to find this film soon.

Here’s the clip with the klezmer and  gypsy players–

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