The Light Ahead
Edgar Ulmer (1939)
You can rent the film, restored and with new English subtitles from the National Center for Jewish Film. Then, stream the film at home before our discussion. This is an exclusive online screening — The Light Ahead is not available on any other streaming service and only available online until September 3! The $10 rental fee goes entirely to the National Center for Jewish Film to support their ongoing work.
Made just on the brink of the Second World War, Edgar Ulmer’s The Light Ahead tells the story of two lovers, Fishke (David Opatoshu) and Hodel (Helen Beverley), whose physical disabilities and poverty leave them on the margins of society. The two dream of a life free from the prejudice and despair of their shtetl. With a screenplay by Chaver Paver based on the tales of Mendele Moykher-Sforim (played by Isidore Cashier), this love story set in the midst of an epidemic (what else?) becomes a startling allegory about superstition, ignorance, and the power of reason and kindness.
Our discussion centered on this fascinating film and continued our quarantine-long cinematic inquiry into questions of community, contagion, knowledge, and power.
Moderator: Boris Dralyuk, Executive Editor, Los Angeles Review of Books
Rob Adler Peckerar, Executive Director, Yiddishkayt
J. Hoberman, Author & Critic, New York Times
Sharon Pucker Rivo, Executive Director, National Center for Jewish Film
Eve Sicular, Author & Bandleader