Thursday, February 29, 2024

Feminist classic Hester Street gets new lease of life on VOD

A new restoration of Joan Micklin Silver’s portrait of an Eastern European Jewish couple living in New York’s Lower East Side in the late 19th century is coming.

The freshly-minted version of the 1975 feminist classic featuring Hollywood film and TV veteran Carol Kane introduces us to Gitl (Kane) and Yankel (Steven Keats), immigrants who are having very different experiences adapting to the U.S.

Joan Micklin Silver

In 1890s New York City, the disparities between the experiences of a Jewish immigrant and his wife highlighted the inherent disparities in gender roles and struck a chord with 1970s feminist film audiences and academics.

Sumptuously shot in black and white on a shoestring budget that nevertheless accurately recreated the Lower East Side neighborhood of 19th Century Jewish immigrants, director Joan Micklin Silver’s loving, funny debut feature became an unexpected hit, and the rare independent American film to garner an Oscar® nomination for Kane’s heartbreaking, but ultimately empowering turn.

Micklin Silver, who passed away in 2020 directed other accessible feminist classics including Crossing Delancey, Loverboy, and Bernice Bobs Her Hair. Kane, whose recent credits include Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, is a rare actress equally adept at comedy and drama.

Silver influenced countless independent filmmakers with her career as a director in film, television, theater, and radio that spanned nearly fifty years.

Hester Street, new 4K restoration, 1975, 90mins, available on February 8 to rent or own on Kino Now.

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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