Films

Eatala: A Life in Klezmer
(2011)

Eatala is a loving portrait of NEA National Heritage Award winner Elaine Hoffman Watts (her Yiddish name is “Eatala”) and her family legacy of playing Klezmer, Eastern European Jewish folk music. While in other parts of the country, klezmer began to disappear only to later be revived, in Philadelphia, the Hoffman family never stopped playing it. Through dynamic concert footage, family movies, interviews and historic photos, this documentary explores the family’s unique Ukrainian-Jewish klezmer sounds, the meaning of the music, and how it has remained vital. In particular, with a good dose of humor and joy, we see how a feisty and determined woman broke barriers as a musician and a working mother, all while maintaining a persistent devotion to her family’s klezmer that has been actively sustained for over four generations. Included are performances by Elaine Hoffman Watts, Susan Lankin Watts, and an all-star klezmer band with Josh Dolgin, Jay Krush, Rachel Lemisch, Hankus Netsky, Henry Sapoznik, and Carmen Staaf.

Watch the full documentary at Folkstreams here!

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