Carpati: 50 Miles, 50 Years | 1996
The story of Zev Godinger, a proste (ordinary) Jew who has a special friendship with his Gypsy (Rom) neighbors. In exhilarating "jam sessions," filmmaker Yale Strom demonstrates the subtle interrelationships and influences between Gypsy and Jewish music--unique melodies and cadences created by communities of outsiders. Such musical celebrations recall times and places in Eastern Europe now forever lost to us. As "Carpati" was being filmed, it was discovered that the synagogue of Vinogradov, Zev Godinger's hometown, had lacked a torah for many years. When an American synagogue donates a torah, the film's narrative follows the transport of the scrolls from Los Angeles to Vinogradov, to renew the religious life of this Carpathian village. In a poignant "rite of passage," it is Zev, settled just 50 miles away from Zinogradov since his deportation to Auschwitz in 1944, who brings the torah to his boyhood synagogue.