Bridge of Light

Yiddish Film between Two Worlds

J. Hoberman

Published to great acclaim in 1991, J. Hoberman’s Bridge of Light is now back in print with a new foreword and final chapter discussing recent research, rediscoveries, and restorations. Also includes the documentary The Yiddish Cinema (60 min., DVD), narrated by David Mamet.

Paper: $45
ISBN-13: 9781584658702
Pages: 432 | Size: 8 in. x 9.25 in.
Date Published: July 13, 2010

“I cherish Bridge of Light as a powerful act of illuminating.”

Tony Kushner, Pulitzer-prize winning playwright


  • Bridge of Light, J. Hoberman's beautifully mounted and superbly researched survey of the entire range of Yiddish filmmaking, is not simply a study of a small corpus of often interesting films, but a tribute, indeed a monument, to a world lost forever in the ashes of history.

    Film Quarterly
  • J. Hoberman's classic 1991 work on Yiddish film remains essential, enhanced by a new foreword, final chapter and a DVD of the documentary film The Yiddish Cinema. This excellent, engaging book is required reading for anyone interested in Yiddish and Jewish film and theater. It is sophisticated and accessible, providing a comprehensive overview of Yiddish film and its social and artistic context. Hoberman's detailed research and rich commentaries are accompanied by wonderful pictures.

    Association of Jewish Libraries
  • Prodigiously researched and critically astute, this is a readable work of scholarship that takes a well-earned place as the most authoritative word on a curious corner of film history.

    Los Angeles Times Book Review
  • At last! A chance to see what Yiddish looked like in the mouths and gestures of early 20th century Jews. Bridge of Light helps us ponder the impossibly delicate and obscure connections between image, word and history. Each page is a wonder of research and understanding.

    Ben Katchor
  • Hoberman's research is breathtaking, but it's his persuasive mastery of the political and aesthetic currents shaping the films he discusses, his wit and generosity as a writer, his great passion for Yiddish culture–all the more potent for the seriousness, reticence and dignity of its expression–that makes this book not only the authoritative history of Yiddish cinema, but a deeply moving and intellectually exciting portrait of the hardscrabble, perilous worlds whence those beautiful films emerged. I cherish Bridge of Light as a powerful act of illuminating.

    Tony Kushner

About the Author

James L. Hoberman

J. Hoberman is a former senior film critic at The Village Voice. He is the author of numerous books including Entertaining America: Jews, Movies and Broadcasting (with Jeffrey Shandler).

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