Hester Street tells the story of Jewish immigrants who come to the Lower East side of New York City in 1896 from Europe and who live on Hester Street in Manhattan. When Yekl first comes to the U.S., he quickly assimilates into American culture and becomes Jake. He also begins to have an affair with Mamie, a dancer. His wife, Gitl, who arrives later with their son, Yossele, cannot assimilate and tension arises in the marriage. Eventually, Jake and Gitle divorce, however in turn, Gitle takes all of Mamie’s money and marries Bernstein, a faithful traditionalist.
The film is noteworthy for its detailed reconstruction of Jewish immigrant life in New York at the turn of the century — much of the dialogue is delivered in Yiddish with English subtitles — and was part of the wave of films released in the late 1960s and through the 1970s which began explicitly to deal with the complexities of American Jewish identity. In addition, Carol Kane’s lead character posed a still-provocative synthesis as she discovers her own self-assertion on behalf of her right to maintain a traditional identity in an aggressively modern setting. —Wikipedia
Joan Micklin Silver (born May 24, 1935) is an American director.
She was born Joan Micklin in Omaha, Nebraska, the daughter of Doris (Shoshone) and Maurice David Micklin. She received her B.A. From Sarah Lawrence College. In 1956, she married Raphael D. Silver, with whom she has 3 daughters; Raphael’s father was Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver.
Her early low-budget film Hester Street received a Best Actress Oscar nomination for actress Carol Kane. Her 1977 film Between the Lines was entered into the 27th Berlin International Film Festival. She is also known for the film Crossing Delancey which was released in 1988 and stars Amy Irving. She also conceived and directed the musical revue A… My Name Is Alice with Julianne Boyd. —Wikipedia
Also: Best of 2011 from the San Francisco Bay Guardian, In Review Online and more. And 11-year-old Scorsese’s storyboards.