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The Independent Critic

FEATURING
Isa Kremer
DIRECTED BY
Nina Feinberg, Ted Schillinger
MPAA RATING
NR
RUNNING TIME
56 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
Facets Multi-Media
DVD EXTRAS
An Interview w/Ted Schillinger; Isa's Songs Performed Live
ORDER YOUR COPY
 "Isa: The People's Diva" Review 
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This nearly one-hour feature documentary is being released on home video by Chicago-based Facets Multi-Media, a marvelous non-profit film preservation organization that continues to bring to the forefront some of history's true cinematic gems that might otherwise not get the home video release and audience that they deserve.

Isa: The People's Diva uses rare footage, hundreds of photos and interviews with friends, family members, performers and scholars in chronicling the life of Isa Kremer. Kremer was a beloved singer of authentic Yiddish songs and the first woman to perform these songs on the concert stage. In so doing this, she legitimized the Yiddish language and affirmed a vital part of Jewish culture.

Kremer was a classically trained opera star who acted out these Yiddish folk tunes by embodying them through voice, body language, gestures and more while dramatically interpreting them for her audiences. Her career spanned five tumultuous decades that directly impacted Kremer's life, ranging from the Russian Revolution to the rise of Nazism to the politics of South America, yet she was relentless in her dedication to performing these tunes even at tremendous personal cost.

Those interested in music or Jewish history will most appreciate Isa: The People's Diva, a rather straightforward documentary that is fascinating and intelligently constructed. The DVD, which arrives on July 31st, 2012, features an interview with writer/co-director Ted Schillinger along with live performances of Isa's never forgotten songs. The film was originally made in 2000, yet thanks to those fine folks at Facets you're finally getting the chance to own it for yourself.

For more information, visit the Facets Video website linked in the credits to the left.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic
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