Feb 2 2019 - 7:30 PM
We love our klezmer evenings with Yale, Elizabeth Schwartz, and their hot band; this time we’ve got something different from this multifaceted team. Yale produced the film “American Socialist,” to spotlight the life and work of Eugene Debs, early labor organizer. It’s a culmination of five years of research and production. Its inspiration was the use of the word “socialist” as a political epithet, and director Yale Strom wanted to define and contextualize the term. Most people in America do not know that the contemporary political movement to address income inequality began over 100 years ago with Eugene Victor Debs. This film traces the history of American populism, with the man who inspired progressive ideas – from FDR’s New Deal to Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. This is an objective but passionate history of the movement as championed and founded by Eugene Victor Debs, a movement that continues to have an impact on our daily lives today.
Yale Strom (violin, composer, filmmaker, writer, photographer, playwright) is a pioneer among revivalists in conducting extensive field research in Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans among the Jewish and Roma communities. Initially, his work focused primarily on the use and performance of klezmer music among these two groups. Gradually, his focus increased to examining all aspects of their culture, from post-World War II to the present. From more than 3 decades and 75 such research expeditions, Yale has become the world’s leading ethnographer-artist of klezmer music and history.
Yale has lectured extensively throughout the United States and Europe and taught at NYU for the 4 years, where he created the course “Artist-Ethnographer Expeditions”. At present he is Artist-in-Residence and professor in the Jewish Studies Program at San Diego State University.
Here’s a Troubadour article on the film.