You couldn’t hope for better reviews than this!
Great reviews in NY Times, LA Times, NY Post, Variety, and in media across the world!
Very basically, the movie year 1997 went from fire (“Volcano”) to ice
(“Titanic”). Meanwhile, the biggest load of green was hauled in by some men
in black… (Keep reading to see Carpati listed in his top-ten picks!)
For all Zev’s heartiness and love of music, there are moments when Mr. Godinger lets the tears flow. The movie makes clear that his strong and proud sense of Jewish identity was a key to his salvation. In the final scene, he carries a Torah, donated by Americans to the synagogue in Vinogradov, and declares who he is. “I’m Zev, son of Shimon, Jewish community caretaker, sexton, and gravedigger from Vinogradov,” he announces. “Every Jew needs to have a Torah in a synagogue. Without it, he’s homeless.”
Los Angeles Times by Kevin Thomas
“…every bit as irresistible and poignant as The Last Klezmer…
“Carpati overflows with camaraderie and intoxicating music.
“As he did when he got Kozlowski to visit his Ukrainian hometown for the first time in 40 years, Strom avoids the aura of contrivance and exploitation through sensitivity, respect and affection for Zev and his friends. Strom makes sure that audiences realize that Gypsies were also sent to Auschwitz and today survive in often severe poverty, and he celebrates their own music as much as the Jewish music they have preserved. What Strom, a musician himself, and Notowitz are doing so lovingly–and so entrancing–is to record remnants of a culture on the brink of extinction. As Godinger remarks, “In 10, 15 years you’ll need a candle to find a Jew here in Carpati.”
New York Post by Michael Medved
… a wry, revealing story about the Carpathian Mountains… which has witnessed the decimation of its once flourishing Jewish community.
That tragedy emerges with poignancy and power in “Carpati,” a new documentary (narrated by Leonard Nimoy)…
The scenes are beautifully captured with hand-held video by cameraman David Notowitz (who also edited the film), and who seems to have a special gift for catching characters at moments of maximum exposure and vulnerability.
… various scenes are overwhelming in their impact…
And in French media too.
San Mateo Times by Paul Sterman
It’s not often that Jews and Gypsies are thought of in the same context, even though each has a history as a wandering people…
The documentary “Carpati: 50 Miles, 50 Years,” which is featured in the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival opening Saturday in Berkeley, takes a look at this intriguing dynamic.
Carpathian Jews made a dramatic subject. There are not many of these people left… Many died in concentration camps during World War II. Many moved away.
Daily Variety by Dennis Harvey
Engaging docu will play well for relevant broadcast and educational markets…[After the Soviet Union fell,] … many Ukrainian Jews opted simply to get the hell out, resettling in Israel or elsewhere.
Gregarious “Uncle Zev,” beloved by villagers of every religious and ethnic origin, stayed put. Most of his family was deported to Auschwitz; al were killed save him. He remembers thinking the smoke from brick houses connoted “a bread factory, but it was a human factory.”
Liberated by Allied troops, [Zev] Godinger went home… After immediate hardships, he built a stable home and family life selling ice cream.
Despite occasional tears of remembrance, he’s an inspiringly cheerful and indomitable figurehead.