• 416 pages
  • 8 x 9.25
  • 180 halftones

Bridge of Light

Yiddish Film between Two Worlds

J. Hoberman

This fascinating cultural and social history places Yiddish-language cinema in the contexts of twentieth-century Jewish history, the history of motion pictures—particularly in the United States, Poland, and the Soviet Union—and the development of Yiddish secular culture. From the legendary moviehouses and figures to the classic and forgotten films, Bridge of Light is a testament to Yiddish cinema's glory days and an homage to it in its decline.


"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 very curious corner of film history."
Los Angeles Times Book Review

"(A) much-needed spur to revival and reappraisal. If the story of Yiddish cinema is basically, as J. Hoberman puts it, 'the passage from shtetl to city, from Old Country to New World,' he conveys this movement with a vividness of detail that matches the vitality of his subject. Through Yiddish films, he traces the passages inherent in Jewish experience—from profound loss to resilience, and from nostalgia to pungent irony."
New York Times Book Review

"An important addition to works on Jewish film and film-making, and an invaluable resource..."
Sight and Sound

"(A)s both a labor of love and a work of scholarship, Bridge of Light is highly impressive."

"... J. Hoberman's beautifully mounted and superbly researched survey of the entire range of Yiddish film-making...(is) a tribute, indeed a monument, to a world lost forever in the ashes of history."
Film Quarterly

About the Author(s)

J. Hoberman, film critic at The Village Voice since 1978, is the author of Vulgar Modernism (Temple), which was nominated for the 1991 National Book Critics Circle Award, and co-author (with Jonathan Rosenbaum) of Midnight Movies. He has written for numerous national publications, including Artforum, The New York Times, The Nation, The New Republic, and Premiere.