Somerville Reads is a project that promotes literacy and community by encouraging people all over the City to read and discuss books on the same theme. For our third annual program, the subject is food—local, sustainable, delicious!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Somerville Reads Film: Hester Street

Join us at the Central Library tonight at 7 for our last film for Somerville Reads, the 1975 drama Hester Street. Jake is a Russian Jewish immigrant living on the Lower East Side who is enthusiastically Americanizing himself. All in all, he's doing pretty well. He's got a job and a girlfriend. But then his wife Gitl arrives in America, bring with her their young son. Not only does Jake have to deal with the complications this creates for his personal life, he also tries to pull Gitl away from the old Ashkenazi ways that she clings to so desperately.

Praising the film for its pathos and wit, New York Times critic Richard Eder described the experience of seeing this film about the familiar theme of Americanization as like seeing a "familiar play—A Midsummer Night's Dream as done by Peter Brook or The Wild Duck as done by Sweden's Royal Dramatic Theater—lit up by an intent and flowering mind." The acting in the film is stellar. The best performance is by Carol Kane (Gitl), who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.

We hope to see you here!