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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies


Modern Hebrew Annual Lecture 2020 and Short Film Festival

Cripps Auditorium, 1-3 Chesterton Road, Cambridge


Sunday, 9th February, 2020 at 5:30pm

  • Film: Black Honey (Director: Uri Barbash, 2018, 76 minutes)

    Russian-born poet Avraham Sutzkever was one of the greatest Yiddish poets of modern times. But since he lived in Israel and wrote in Yiddish, he was virtually unknown. “He wrote with wit, passion, and vitality through the darkness of the Holocaust, and led the Paper Brigade, an underground resistance group that hid a cache of Jewish cultural items to protect them from destruction at the hands of the Nazis. Sutzkever was saved by a special rescue plane sent for him by Stalin, and later testified in the Nuremberg trials against the Nazi who murdered his mother and son. Black Honey uncovers his extraordinary life”. (New York Jewish Film Festival).

  • Lecture: Benny Mer, writer, editor and translator from Yiddish to Hebrew

Monday, 10th February, 2020 at 7:30pm

  • Film: Levantine: The life of Jacqueline Kahanov (Director: Raphael Balulu, 2018, 55 minutes)

    She lived in Cairo, Paris and New York, but died in an old age home in Givatayim, Israel. She was admired and beautiful, but only few knew her during her life and even less after she had passed away. She was the first writer and intellectual who spoke about Mizrahi identity in Israel and did so in extraordinary ways. The film charts the portrait of an unusual woman as well as the birth and history of Mizrahi identity in Israel as a cultural option.

  • (20-minute break)

  • Film: Yeshurun in 6 Chapters (Director: Amichai Chasson, 2018, 55 minutes)

    As a radical and shunned poet, Yeshurun broke the boundaries of language using Hebrew, Yiddish and Arabic in unprecedented ways. Who was Avot Yeshurun, also known as Yehiel Perlmutter? Using rare archival footage, the film draws a portrait of a man who broke all conventions, a lonely revolutionary who wrote the events of our time in a crushed-broken language and became the ‘lord of all poets’ toward the end of his life.

For further information, contact:

Dr Yaron Peleg
Kennedy Leigh Reader in Modern Hebrew Studies