Yiddish Movie Poster “Return of Nathan Becker,” Moscow, 1932


1 in stock

Dimensions62 × 93 cm




The poster – “Neytan Beker’s tsurikkumen. A Yiddishe klang-film” (Return of Nathan Becker. Yiddish sound film) in original Yiddish – includes the image of Solomon Mikhoels in a role of Nathan Becker’s father Tsale and two stills from the movie – traditional shtetl street and a group of shtetl Jews enthusiatically signing up for construction jobs in Magnitogorsk. There are also movie credits: script by Perets Markish, Boris Shpis, and Rachel Milman; directed by Boris Shpis and Rachel Milman; camera man Mikhailov; assistant camera man Beervald; music by Brusilovskii; the cast includes S. Mikhoels, D. Gutman, E. Kashnitskaia, Kadar Ben Salim, A Zarzhetskaia. Produced by the Belgoskino studio. In 1932, celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution, the Leningrad production facility of the Belgoskino studio released the movie “The Return of Nathan Becker,” starring David Gutman, Solomon Mikhoels, and Boris Babochkin. According to the movie’s co-directors Boris Shpis and Rakhel Milman, they “simultaneously produced two different movies [under the same title]—one in Yiddish, another in Russian.” Shpis and Milman also admitted that the movie’s essential dualism created many difficulties, especially for the cast: “Some actors knew no Yiddish, others—no Russian” (“Pervyi v mire evreiskii zvukovoi fil’m” [“The First Yiddish Sound Movie”]. Vecherniaia Moskva (October 30, 1932). The movie is set in the late 1920s. Nathan Becker (played by Gutman), a brick-layer, who emigrated to America 28 years ago, returns to his native shtetl (small Jewish town) where his father Tsale (played by Mikhoels) still lives. Nathan joins the other shtetl Jews getting a job at the construction site of Magnitogorsk, an emblematic metal plant successfully completed during the first Soviet five-year plan (1928-1932). As a skilled worker, Nathan is assigned to train novice builders, however, he struggles to grasp the Socialist labor system and develops the wrong attitude. For example, he sees the socialist competition as his co-workers’ attempt to gain attention and the favor of superiors. To show off his American attitude and superior work method, Nathan challenges others builders to a brick-laying competition. One young worker accepts the challenge, and he and Nathan lay bricks in the circus in front of cheering audiences. Defeated and broken, Nathan believes that he would be fired and sent back to America. His father convinces him that it’s impossible in the Soviet Union where “workers are their own bosses.” To his great surprise, Nathan is promoted and receives encouragement from the local party boss Mikulich (played by Babochkin). The movie ends as Nathan, Tsale, and their Jewish co-workers enthusiatically lay bricks using the best Soviet and American techniques.

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