film + conversation

LAYKA Lens is Yiddishkayt’s film + conversation series that takes place in both live and virtual spaces. We curate films that connect to the cultural heritage of Eastern Europe, while also speaking to the present moment. Watch our film selection in advance, then join us for a live-streamed, unscripted conversation with some of the country’s top critics, scholars, and artists. This cultural series is curated in partnership with the Los Angeles Review of Books.

The Latest Lens | January 2021

I Walked with a Zombie

Jacques Tourneur, USA, 1943

I Walked with a Zombie is a fascinating film with roots in the classic Jane Eyre, but set in the Caribbean (the original home of Charlotte Brontë’s “madwoman in the attic”). The movie presents horror as both a genre and as a real life experience of historical violence. I Walked with a Zombie is a particularly resonant film for our time and the LAYKA series, in its exploration of themes of community and the fear of others — monstrous or otherwise.

The LAKYA panel will take on this film set in the West Indies, made by an international team of writers, directors, and producers — many who were refugees of Jewish origins fleeing the Nazi horror. A wide-ranging discussion will consider the style of the influential producer Val Lewton as well as the central themes of the film including willful blindness toward injustice, the return of repressed legacies of oppression, and the representation of Caribbean and Black culture in wartime cinema.


Up next in the LAYKA Lens series is Val Lewton’s 1943 classic I Walked with a Zombie. Join us and the Los Angeles Review of Books on January 28, 2021 as we discuss this film. You can stream the film on Amazon or Apple TV anytime before we meet for a live conversation.

LAYKA Lens in 2020