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Santa Fe Jewish Film Fest: Song Searcher
April 3, 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
This Sunday at 3 pm, The Santa Fe Jewish Film Festival brings a captivating look into an important part of Ukrainian Jewish history. SONG SEARCHER is the story of a man’s lifelong search for authentic Yiddish folk music and of his unique archive, which was presumed to be lost forever.
Moyshe Beregovsky, a musician and scholar, crisscrossed Ukraine with phonograph in hand during the most dramatic years of Soviet history in order to record and study the traditional music of Ukrainian Jewry. His work led to his arrest and imprisonment in a Stalinist labor camp in 1950. Most of those he recorded on hundreds of fragile wax cylinders were destroyed by the Nazis. Ultimately, Beregovsky succeeded in saving the musical heritage of the centuries-old Yiddish civilization. He rescued the Living Voice of his people from the flames of the Holocaust but paid for it with his life.
The music rescued by Beregovsky is heard throughout the film, either in its original archival version or performed live by some of the best contemporary klezmer musicians. Song Searcher is not only Beregovsky’s remarkable story but a window on 20th century Ukrainian Jewish history, all told against the backdrop of a Yiddish musical treasure rediscovered.