Hava Nagila: The Movie

Hava Nagila played at the Crescent Theater in Spring 2013

Hava NagilaIt is instantly recognizable – musical shorthand for anything Jewish, a happy party tune that you dance to at weddings, bar mitzvahs and even at Major League Baseball games. It conjures up wistful smiles, memories of generations past…and no shortage of eye rolling. But as audiences will discover in Hava Nagila (The Movie), the song is much more than a tale of Jewish kitsch and bad bar mitzvah fashions. It carries with it an entire constellation of history, values and hopes for the future. In its own believe-it-or-not way, Hava Nagila encapsulates the Jewish journey over the past 150 years. It also reveals the power of one song to express and sustain identity, to transmit lessons across generations and to bridge cultural divides and connect us all on a universal level.

The definitive, glorious (and musical) story of how the Hebrew song Hava Nagila (Let Us Rejoice), set to a traditional melody from the Ukraine, became the signature theme of Jewish life. Despite having become truly universal in appeal, the song never lost either its Jewish soul or origin. Features interviews with Harry Belafonte, Leonard Nimoy, Connie Francis, and Glen Campbell, as well as performances of the song by Belafonte, Francis, Danny Kaye, Bob Dylan, Lena Horne, Regina Spektor and Chubby Checker. Plan to walk out humming–or maybe singing out loud–this very special and universally appealing melody.

Starring Harry Belafonte, Connie Francis, Leonard Nimoy, Glen Campbell, Regina Spektor, Irving Fields, Josh Kun, Henry Sapoznik. Written by Sophie Sartain, Directed by Roberta Grossman and produced by Roberta Grossman, Sophie Sartain, Marta Kauffman.

 

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