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Burning Off the Page


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Screening Information

Ontario Premiere
June 5, 7:30 pm
Innis Town Hall
June 8 – June 9
TJFF Virtual Cinema

Film Details

Country Canada
Year 2023
Running Time 83 MIN
Languages English, Yiddish
Subtitles English
Director Eli Gorn

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This captivating documentary showcases the work and life of Celia Dropkin, writer of erotic poetry in Yiddish that both shocked and delighted readers in the 1920s and 30s. Combining interviews, animated interpretations of her poetry and excerpts from her diary—exquisitely performed by Gabrielle Rose—the film explores how Dropkin’s poetry shattered the conventions of gender, sexuality and morality, while writing about desire, passion and physical sensuality. As she serves as an inspiration to current musicians—such as Frank London of The Klezmatics—who have set her poetry to music, the film demonstrates why Celia Dropkin’s work is deserving of a revival.

“This creative documentary celebrates the work and life of Celia Dropkin, whose erotic poetry in Yiddish from nearly a century ago is experiencing a well-deserved revival.”
TJFF Programmer Allen Braude

Presentation Details

In-person Guests Director Eli Gorn, Yiddish scholar Faith Jones, film participant Kenneth Levinson, novelist and grandson of Celia Dropkin

Co-presented With
Review “As the film illustrates, Dropkin’s work expands not only what it means to be a sexual being and Jewish but to be human." Stir