In 1934, Stalin created an independent state for Jews from the USSR and around the world. He called it Birobidjan. Families immigrated from places as diverse as Ukraine, France, and Brooklyn. After the purges of the 20th century, what is left of this country, its culture, and its language is teetering on the edge of oblivion — yet this mostly forgotten societal and religious outpost in Oblast is the the only other internationally recognized Jewish territory
This is a darkly intimate portrait of Birobidjan, the people, the place, the almost imperceptible fading of tradition. In watching it, we share in a privileged view of a culture out-of-time. The movie stands as a vital inventory just prior to the community’s final disappearance, an event that seems to gather ominously on the horizon like dark-bellied storm clouds.
Guy Marc-Hinant's unforgettable epic treatment of these people and their plight, a major award-winner at numerous European film festivals, stands as a testament to a fading culture and the dignity of the people who uphold it.
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