About The Film
The Yiddish folklore of Sholem Aleichem serves as inspiration for SONG OF SONGS, an exquisitely rendered tableaux of Russian shtetl life from a bygone era.
Told with a potent sense of time and place, the fairytale-like story follows the budding pre-adolescent affections of sprite-like Shimek (Yevheniy Kogan) and young playmate Buzya (Milena Tsibulskaya), as they grow up together in an insular, turn-of-the-century Hasidic community. Their crumbling Ukrainian town is observed in lyrical scenes of caring but constrictive family life, domestic hardships, and cultural orthodoxies, all played out by an eclectic beehive of indigenous characters. After fate had sent him away, an older Shimek (Arseniy Semenov) returns for a wistful homecoming, only then realizing the true depth of his feelings for his now betrothed childhood love (Arina Postolova-Tihipko).
Writer-director Eva Neymann imbues her stylized vision with painterly landscapes, aching nostalgia and gentle humor. Filmed in Odessa and the Ukrainian town of Vilkovo, the mise-en-scène is enriched by weathered vinyl recordings of classic Jewish singers and musicians. Winner of a Special Mention Ecumenical Jury Prize at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, SONG OF SONGS artfully reimages a lost world torn between tradition and modernity.