The Ladino Ladies' Club
About IDFA
The Ladino Ladies' Club
IDFA 2015

The Ladino Ladies' Club

Boris Missirkov, Georgi Bogdanov
Bulgaria, United States
26 min
Dutch Premiere
Festival history
Sephardic Jews had lived in Spain since time immemorial, but in 1492 they were given the choice of either converting to Christianity or leaving the country. Some of them went to Bulgaria, and after the founding of the state of Israel in 1948, nearly all of their 45,000 descendants emigrated to their promised land. is about a gathering of nine Bulgarian Sephardic Jews. They are probably the only people in Bulgaria still able to speak the official Sephardic Jewish language of Ladino, a form of Spanish that is peppered with Hebrew vocabulary. The film underlines the importance of keeping memories and traditions alive. These elderly women – who include a professor of biochemistry, an opera singer and a microbiologist – tell each other stories from their youth and discuss their shared history. The subjects they cover include their religious background, the Second World War and the inferior status of daughters with respect to sons. The women also sing Sephardic songs, discuss the Ladino aria in Verdi’s and share their recipe for perfect marzipan.
Screening copy