Adapting Jewish Literature: Yentl and A Tale of Love and Darkness with Fania Oz-Salzberger, Ruby Namdar and Rokhl Kafrissen

By | Mar 16, 2021
Arts & Culture, Latest, Zoominars


Fania Oz-Salzberger, Ruby Namdar and Rokhl Kafrissen join in conversation about what it means to adapt Jewish literature for the big screen.

While many Jewish filmmakers choose to write their own material and draft their own stories, others turn to interpretation. This program compares two films that share biographical features, Yentl and A Tale of Love and Darkness. Though released decades apart, both were directed by acclaimed actresses making their directorial debuts, Barbara Streisand and Natalie Portman respectively. These women notably adapted literary works written by men and their star power was critical to getting these films made.

Historian and Moment Contributor Fania Oz-Salzberger shares personal insights about her father, acclaimed Israeli writer Amos Oz, and his autobiographical novel A Tale of Love and Darkness and author and educator Ruby Namdar considers the film and the legacy of the memoir. Critic and playwright Rokhl Kafrissen explores Yentl, based on a play and short story by Isaac Bashevis Singer.

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This program is a collaboration between Moment Magazine and REWIND: The Shenson Retrospective Film Series, a project of Stanford’s Taube Center for Jewish Studies. 

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