In-person Film Fest showing of “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” on Nov. 6

By Reporter staff

The Binghamton Jewish Film Fest will show “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” on Sunday, November 6, at Temple Israel, 4737 Deerfield Place, Vestal. The evening will include a kosher dairy dinner and begin at 5:30 pm. The cost is $12 per person for the film and the dinner. Larry Kassan, who has directed productions of the musical, will facilitate the film discussion. Reservations are required for the event and should be made by Tuesday, November 1. Registration can be made here or by calling the Federation at 607-724-2332.

“Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles,” a documentary by Max Lewkowicz, tells the origin story of the Broadway musical “Fiddler on The Roof,” and its creative roots in early 1960s New York City. The film includes interviews with the show’s creators, which reveal how the success and worldwide impact of “Fiddler” and its subsequent film adaptation is most appropriately viewed through the lens of the social upheaval and change in mid-20th century America. The documentary also explores a variety of international productions of the show, detailing how individuals of many cultures see themselves in the residents of Anatevka. The film features scenes from productions in Canada, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, as well as the last Broadway production revival with Danny Burstein and Jessica Hecht. 

Kassan, who is coordinator of special events and theatre at the Rod Serling School of Fine Arts at Binghamton City School District, knows “Fiddler on the Roof”: not only has he seen more than a dozen productions of the musical, but he has directed, designed or produced “Fiddler” at least six times. Why does he feel the musical is so popular? “I can say that in one word: tradition,” he noted in an e-mail interview. “Honestly, Tevye’s story is universal... Tevye’s struggles [with a] changing world [where one is] so desperately trying to hold onto one’s traditions.”

Shelley Hubal, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Binghamton, which sponsors the film fest, noted how pleased she is that the film is finally going to be shown. “We’ve wanted to show this film in person and almost did last year on Super Sunday before the pandemic made us cancel the event,” said Hubal. “‘Miracle’ is the type of film that speaks to the shared human experience. This documentary will make you feel proud of your ancestry. Join us for a wonderful evening that includes dinner, the film and what will be a great conversation with Larry Kassan.”