Dir. Frank N. Seltzer and George K. Rowlands (78min, USA, 1922)
Silent Film with English Intertitles
Thinking he has killed his friend Paul in a jealous rage, David Bergmann flees pre-revolutionary Russia for New York. While there, he becomes a successful lawyer and woos smart, independent Rose, also the boss’ daughter. Meanwhile, David’s wealthy parents sell their fancy home in St. Petersburg and immigrate to America. Unable to find their son, they fall into poverty.
Will David marry Rose? Will the Bergmanns be reunited? And what happened to Paul? Long considered lost, the world’s only existing print of Breaking Home Ties was discovered and restored by The National Center for Jewish Film (NCJF).
Live music composed and performed by pianist Donald Sosin and violinist Joseph Morag.
In the early 1920s American Jews looked to undo the damage of the anti-semitic campaigns of the Ku Klux Klan and Henry Ford. Several feature length films with Jewish themes were produced and released for general audiences during this period, including Hungry Hearts and His People and The Jazz Singer. The film’s Jewish producers wished to present “the everyday life of the Jew, with emphasis on that human and sympathetic element in his nature too often overlooked.” Breaking Home Ties was the last film shot at the Betzwood Motion Picture Studio in Philadelphia, PA. The film premiered in New York City in November 1922.
This honor is made possible through the generosity of Linda Lipsett and Jules Bernstein.
Sharon Pucker Rivo, Executive Director and Co-Founder of The National Center for Jewish Film, has been a leading force in the field of Jewish film and culture for more than 40 years through her work as an archivist, curator, distributor, film and television producer, and academic.
In the mid-1970s Sharon and NCJF co-founder Miriam Krant rescued a languishing collection of Yiddish-language feature films. Today, The National Center for Jewish Film is the largest archive of Jewish-content film in the world, outside of Israel, and the largest distributor of restored classics and new independent films with Jewish content.
She has overseen the rescue of thousands of rare films (the earliest dates from 1903) and the restoration of more than 100 endangered films. Sharon was an early advocate for the inclusion of film in the study of history and culture, and for the historically accurate use of visual materials. She has consulted with filmmakers from around the world and has appeared as an expert in many documentaries and exhibits. She has curated film programs for venues around the world, including co-curating the first ever retrospective of Yiddish cinema, held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Sharon has been a member of the Brandeis University faculty for more than twenty years and she lectures widely on the history of Jews in cinema, a field she helped pioneer. Internationally recognized and honored as an authority on film archiving and restoration, film curating, programming and distribution, Sharon has been an invited lecturer at hundreds of venues and has served on numerous film festival juries.