The Ladino Ladies' Club

  • Boris Missirkov, Georgi Bogdanov
  • Bulgaria, United States
  • 2015
  • 26 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • Best of Fests
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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. The Ladino Ladies’ Club 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 La Traviata and share their recipe for perfect marzipan.

Credits

  • 26 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Bulgarian, English
  • Subtitles in: English
Director
Boris Missirkov, Georgi Bogdanov
Production
Martichka Bozhilova for Agitprop
Executive producer
Edward Serotta for Centropa
Cinematography
Boris Missirkov, Georgi Bogdanov
Editing
Georgi Bogdanov, Boris Missirkov
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IDFA history

2015
Dutch Premiere
Best of Fests

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IDFA history