The Komediant
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Wistful and melancholy recollections of Yiddish theatre are conveyed in this documentary, which centers on the story of the Burstein family. The family honed their talents in New York and eventually became stars of the genre as they traveled around the world, acting, singing, dancing and telling jokes in Yiddish. The film also chronicles the history of Yiddish theatre, from its beginnings to its eventual decline brought on by the Holocaust.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Able to provide insight into a fascinating part of theater history."
‑ Robert K. Elder, Chicago Tribune
"This rich, bittersweet Israeli documentary, about the life of song-and-dance-man Pasach'ke Burstein and his family, transcends ethnic lines."
‑ Jane Sumner, Dallas Morning News
"Gives the viewer a pleasant taste for the Yiddish theater."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The Komediant is a tale worth catching."
‑ Gerry Shamray, Your Movies (
"A dream of a documentary."
‑ Ken Fox, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Slight but enjoyable documentary."
‑ Ernest Hardy, L.A. Weekly
"It's their familial ups and downs that shift this small, stubbornly poignant documentary ... from the realm of special-interest audiences to the more universal theater of family psychodynamics."
‑ Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
"Less-than-compelling documentary of a Yiddish theater clan."
‑ Phil Hall, Film Threat
"A sharp and quick documentary that is funny and pithy, while illuminating an era of theatrical comedy that, while past, really isn't."
‑ Tim Cogshell, Boxoffice Magazine
"A gentle blend of present day testimonials, surviving footage of Burstein and his family performing, historical archives, and telling stills."
‑ Jon Lap, Apollo Guide
"The film sparkles with the the wisdom and humor of its subjects."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"What might have been a predictably heartwarming tale is suffused with complexity."
‑ Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter
"... a light, yet engrossing piece. Lux, now in her eighties, does a great combination act as narrator, Jewish grandmother and subject - taking us through a film that is part biography, part entertainment and part history."
‑ Niki Patton, Martha's Vineyard Times (Massachusetts)
"While centered on the life experiences of a particular theatrical family, this marvelous documentary touches -- ever so gracefully -- on the entire history of the Yiddish theater, both in America and Israel."
‑ David Ehrenstein, New Times
"It's not so much enjoyable to watch as it is enlightening to listen to new sides of a previous reality, and to visit with some of the people who were able to make an impact in the theater world."
‑ Rachel Gordon,
More reviews for The Komediant on Rotten Tomatoes