Directed by Steve Brand

Release Year: 1984
Running time: 94
Country: U.S.
Language: English
$23.96 - Classroom Rights
MSRP: $29.95
$349.00 - With PPR
$499.00 - With DSL
$499.00 - With DSL and PPR
MSRP: $599.00
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Directed by: Steve Brand

In Steve Brand’s timeless documentary KADDISH -- as bracing as any fiction -- we witness a candid portrait of a young Jew coming to terms with his father's traumatic history. It is the story of the stormy yet loving relationship between writer and Jewish activist Yossi Klein and his father Zoltan, who had survived the Holocaust’s devastation of Hungarian Jewry by hiding in a hole in the ground for six months while his parents – Yossi’s grandparents – perished at Auschwitz. Once Yossi and his sister Karen were born, Zoltan was determined that they be emotionally prepared to survive another holocaust. His story of hiding in the forest and the murder of his parents became his children’s bedtime stories. Their mother Breindy compensated by reading Dr. Seuss books. Kaddish is an emotion-packed coming-of-age journey, told with charm and a surprising sense of humor. It culminates at the first International Gathering of Holocaust Survivors in Jerusalem which Yossi attends “wearing two yarmulkes” — as a writer and as the child of a survivor. But he attends alone, and, he soon realizes, bereft. Yet the film ends, as David Denby has written, “in a burst of elation–all burdens lifted at once–that is one of the most moving things I have seen in recent films.”

Screening History Highlights

New interview with filmmaker Steve Brand
New 30 Years Later Interview with Yossi Klein Halevi
Original Pilot
Deleted Scenes


“An intense and moving documentary … I felt I was seeing something vital, something biographies provide and movies almost never do… A stunning profile … there isn’t a moment that doesn’t resonate … (Yossi) Klein seems like a Moses who’s seen too much, who’s trying to write his own commandments for an insane new age.”

- David Edelstein, Village Voice

“Superb … a film of affirmation … Nothing less than a spiritual odyssy.”

- Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

“A landmark film in both style and content … rich in ideas and intellectual force, imbued with anger, grief and compassion. KADDISH is a film that every American Jew – committed and assimilated, religious and secular – ought to see”

- Walter Ruby, Jewish World

“There are just a handful of films so beautifully and intelligently made that one can recommend them with absolutely no reservations. KADDISH is such a film”

- Lillie Rosen, Jewish Journal


Ten Best Films List – David Edelstein, Village Voice


Official Selection, New Directors/New Films


Winner, Special Jury Award in Documentary, Sundance Film Festival


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