Live music and silent movie event to be held at BU on April 7

The College of Jewish Studies, the Binghamton University Judaic Studies Department and the BU Music Department will hold a live music and silent movie event featuring H K Breslauer’s film “The City Without Jews” (“Die Stadt Ohne Juden,” 1924) “ on Sunday, April 7, from 7:30-9 pm, at Binghamton University’s Casadesus Recital Hall. The performance is free and open to the public. The showing will feature the musical accompaniment of klezmer violinist Alicia Svigals – of Klezmatics fame – and Donald Sosin, silent film pianist. Svigals and Sosin composed the original score. To reserve a seat, send an e-mail with the subject line “Silent Film Event” to 

Set in the fictitious city of Utopia (a thinly-disguised stand-in for Vienna), the satirical film follows the political and personal consequences of an antisemitic law forcing all Jews to leave the country. After an initial wave of enthusiasm, the citizens of Utopia are faced with the consequences, as they watch over their own economic and cultural decline in a “City Without Jews.” Facing a political backlash, their government must decide whether or not to revoke its earlier expulsion decree.

“Darkly comedic in tone, Breslauer’s film has an ominous prophetic resonance for today’s audience,” said organizers of the program. “Intended as a sharp critique of Nazism, it was banned after 1933 and all complete prints were thought to be destroyed. Now, thanks to the serendipitous discovery of a nitrate print in a Parisian flea market in 2015, as well as to the restoration efforts of the Filmarchiv Austria, this previously ‘lost’ classic of early 20th century cinema can once again be appreciated in its ever-relevant entirety.”

The program is underwritten by a grant from the Sunrise Foundation for Education and the Arts, La Jolla, CA. For more information and updates, click here.