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Ladino - 500 Years Young

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Published on Oct 18, 2008

A Film by Rina Papish
(Israel, 2005, 52 Minutes, Color, Hebrew, English subtitles)

The film follows the rise of Ladino singer, Yasmin Levy, from the moment she discovers she can sing and all the way to international success. As she gets to know herself as singer, Yasmin rediscovers her father, Yitzhak Levy, a revered Ladino singer who, in the face of the decline of the language in Israel, chose to dedicate his life to recording and documenting the old Ladino songs before they became extinct.

Yasmin was one year old when her father died and she knew him only through his songs which were played in her home. She planned on being a veterinarian but destiny had it that she would become a singer, and she has taken it upon herself to immortalize and disseminate the Ladino songs that her father collected and preserved.

Ladino is the ancient Spanish of the Middle Ages in which the culture of the Jews of Spain developed and thrived. After their expulsion from Spain in 1492, the exiles continued to preserve the language in every place where they established a community, from Greece, Italy and Turkey, through Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and North Africa.

On a singing tour in Spain, Yasmin connects with her identity as a Jew whose ancestors were expelled 500 years earlier, and she finds her destiny.



AWARDS & FESTIVALS

Toronto JFF
San Jose JFF
Sepharadic Jewish Film Festival 2008, New York
Jewish Motifs Film Festival 2007, Poland - Bronze Warsaw Phoenix Award
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, U.S.A
Ukrainian International Documentary Film Festival 2007, Ukraine
Desert Jewish Film Festival, U.S.A
MUSIC ON FILM - FILM ON MUSIC (MOFFOM) -Prague
Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival, Israel
International Film and Music Festival, Ashdod, Israel

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