At the beginning of the twentieth century, Jews and Orthodox Christians live in the little village of Anatevka in the pre-revolutionary Russia of the Czars. Among the traditions of the Jewish community, the matchmaker arranges the match and the father approves it. The milkman Reb Tevye is a poor man that has been married for twenty-five years with Golde and they have five daughters. When the local matchmaker Yente arranges the match between his older daughter Tzeitel and the old widow butcher Lazar Wolf, Tevye agrees with the wedding. However Tzeitel is in love with the poor tailor Motel Kamzoil and they ask permission to Tevye to get married that he accepts to please his daughter. Then his second daughter Hodel (Michele Marsh) and the revolutionary student Perchik decide to marry each other and Tevye is forced to accept. When Perchik is arrested by the Czar troops and sent to Siberia, Hodel decides to leave her family and homeland and travel to Siberia to be with her beloved
One of the All-Time Great Musicals
In pre-revolutionary Russia, a poor Jewish peasant (Topol) must contend with marrying off his three daughters while antisemitic sentiment threatens his home.
Let me say this right of the bat: while this film may focus on a Jewish family and their struggle to enter the modern world (which may be good or bad), you certainly do not need to be Jewish to enjoy it. I always felt like this film (and “Yentl”) were marketed towards the Jewish community, but it need not be. It is just a great story with excellent songs.
I loved the singing, the dancing, the story, the humor, the characters… there was really nothing I disliked about it. I was a bit surprised the eldest daughter was not Barbra Streisand, because they look identical. But, oh well. And I am also a bit surprised that the director was not Jewish, especially with a name like Jewison… but hey, he did a marvelous job!