A live, original music score composed and performed by world-renowned klezmer violinist Alicia Svigals (a founding member of Grammy-winning The Klezmatics) and celebrated silent film  pianist Donald Sosin. Their performance is made possible by the Sunrise Foundation for Education and the Arts. Join us for Q&A and a champagne toast and dessert reception after the program. 

In Person: March 17

THE MAN WITHOUT A WORLD is an unusual silent drama credited to an imaginary 1920s Soviet film director named Yevgeny Antinov. Although it looks like a rediscovered “lost” film from the archive, it is the creation of contemporary filmmaker Eleanor Antin, a world-renowned artist, author, and performer, who made this silent film as a love letter to her mother, a Yiddish theater actress in Poland. It is a moving, comic melodrama and cinematic masterpiece set in a typical Polish shtetl, where the villagers struggle with both antisemitism in the wider world and political infighting. Against this backdrop, two star-crossed lovers—the merchant’s daughter, Rukheleh, and an impoverished Yiddish poet, Zevi—seek happiness defying many obstacles: Rukheleh’s disapproving parents, Zevi’s dalliance with a seductive gypsy dancer (played by Antin), and the sufferings of Zevi’s younger sister. 

Director Bio + Statement:  

Eleanor Antin is an influential performance artist, filmmaker, and installation artist, who delves into history—from ancient Rome and the Crimean War to the salons of 19th-century Europe and her own Jewish heritage and Yiddish culture—as a way to explore the present. “I make seemingly old films in order to enter the lost world of the past from the inside, not to stand outside of it and see it as history. The technology of a film determines a large part of what the audience sees. A Hollywood costume drama holds the subject of the film at the conventional distance of representation. I want my audience to experience this world as if from inside—but at the same time—with a sense of the distance they have traveled to get there.” — Eleanor Antin 

Introduction by: Sasha Senderovich, Associate Professor of Slavic, Jewish, and International Studies at the University of Washington; author of “How the Soviet Jew Was Made” (2022).

Sponsor: Sunrise Foundation for Education and the Arts
Outreach Partner: STG Silent Movie Mondays, Stroum Center for Jewish Studies – University of Washington