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Documentary Night: ITZHAK

DIRECTED BY: Alison Chernick



Post-film Q&A with director Alison Chernick


From Shubert to Strauss, Bach to Brahms, Mozart to...Billy Joel, Itzhak Perlman's violin playing transcends mere performance to evoke the celebrations and struggles of real life; "praying with the violin," says renowned Tel Aviv violinmaker Amnon Weinstein. Alison Chernick's enchanting documentary looks beyond the sublime musician to see the polio survivor whose parents emigrated from Poland to Israel, and the young man who struggled to be taken seriously as a music student when schools saw only his disability. Itzhak himself is funny, irreverent and self-deprecating, and here his life story unspools in conversations with masterful musicians, family and friends, and most endearingly his devoted wife of 50 years, Toby. Itzhak and Toby's lives are dedicated to their large, loving, Jewish family in New York City and their continual support of young musicians. As charming and entrancing as the famous violinist himself, ITZHAK is a portrait of musical virtuosity seamlessly enclosed in warmth, humor, and above all, love.


Director Alison Chernick's first documentary was on contemporary artist Jeff Koons. Her second feature-length documentary on artist Matthew Barney premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2006. THE ARTIST IS ABSENT, a short film on designer/artist Martin Margiela premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2015. Her latest film, ITZHAK, opened the Hamptons International Film Festival in 2017. Chernick, who began her career working with the documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles, is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities award, and a New York Women in Film and Television award. Chernick's documentaries have been screened at various museums around the world. She also has written for the Sundance Channel, Showtime, MTV, VH1, The History Channel and National Geographic.




RUNNING TIME: 82 minutes





Carte Blanche: FREE
Nonmembers - $12
Members - $7
Students/Seniors (Mon - Thu) - $9




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