Graphically Speaking: A Minimalist Take on [[Fiddler on the Roof]]


We continue our look at classic films with a Jewish connection through minimalist posters with Fiddler on the Roof. Nominated for eight Oscars, the 1971 film wound up winning three and has certainly held up over the years

The film, produced and directed by Norman Jewison, is an American musical comedy-drama and an adaptation of the 1964 Broadway musical of the same name, with music composed by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and screenplay by Joseph Stein. The decision to cast Topol, instead of Zero Mostel, who originated the role on Broadway, as Tevye was a somewhat controversial one at the time; but Jewison noted that he felt while Mostel's larger-than-life personality was well suited for the stage, it would cause film audiences to see him as Zero Mostel, rather than the character of Tevye. For the role of Tevye, Topol was nominated for Best Actor.

The film stays very true to the play and is the story of Tevye, a Jewish peasant and his family in prerevolutionary Russia, as he contends with marrying off three of his daughters while growing anti-Semitic sentiment threatens his village of Anatevka. The title comes from a painting by Russian artist Marc Chagall called "The Dead Man" , which depicts a funeral scene and shows a man playing a violin on a rooftop. Tevye also refers the fiddler in the story as a metaphor for trying to survive in a difficult, constantly changing world.

Of his work below, our intern Justin Crews says, "The story is about how Jewish tradition intersects with this family's life, and I wanted to capture how encapsulating the fiddle, and the metaphor of it, relates to this father's view of his world." 

Justin Crews is more than a talented artist and M.F.A. Animation candidate at SCAD. He's also an intern at AJFF, and you could be too. Interested? Let us know.