AJFF Selects: The Ancient Law


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This year’s AJFF Selects series concludes in September with The Ancient Law, a long-lost masterpiece of German-Jewish cinema. Newly restored and featuring a live musical score, this 1920s silent classic is an emotional and captivating cinematic experience, offering an intimate, visually stunning depiction of 19th-century shtetl life. Sponsored in part by the Department of Film and Media Studies at Emory University, the German Consulate General Atlanta, and the Woodruff Arts Center.

About the Film:

The Ancient Law is an important piece of German-Jewish cinematic history, contrasting the closed world of an Eastern European shtetl with the liberal mores of 1860s Vienna.

Blending comic and tragic elements, influential filmmaker E. A. Dupont tells the story of a rabbi’s son who yearns to become an actor against the wishes of his father, a precursor to Hollywood's The Jazz Singer. Digitally restored with a world premiere at this year's Berlin International Film Festival, this classic 1923 German silent film features historically authentic set design and an ensemble of prominent actors, all captured magnificently by cinematographer Theodor Sparkuhl.

This special AJFF Selects screening will be presented with live musical accompaniment by pianist Donald Sosin and Klezmer violinist Alicia Svigals, playing their newly-commissioned score for the film.

About AJFF Selects

AJFF Selects brings the same caliber of world-class films from the annual festival to audiences year-round. This special film series features outstanding new international and independent films, enhanced with expert speakers and guest filmmakers.