‘Odessa . . . Odessa!’ – Ukraine, New York and Israel

Odessa . . . Odessa! (Michale Boganim, 2005)

In this film, directed by Michale Boganim, the camera observes three “Odessa” communities: the real one in the Ukraine, another in New York and a third in Israel. The contemporary documentary maps the movement of Eastern Europeans from their homeland, to “die goldene medina” – America, to Israel.

The chosen extract is from the New York segment in the film, where the camera follows a migrant as she performs her new identity – American chanteuse – to migrant audiences, and travels up from her new homeland of (Russian) Brighton Beach to the “foreign” paradise of her dreams, Manhattan – the promised land for all Eastern European Jews. Throughout the extract the protagonist seems to be stuck in limbo, in a permanent state of transition to nowhere. Stuck in a foreign speaking community in the suburbs of New York, she consults a fortune teller, dies her hair blond, and sings US disco hits from a bygone era, but all for nought. For this would-be Cinderella, the bright lights of “Great White Way” all seem forever a dream away. A New York Times reviewer has referred to the film as conjuring “a melancholy definition of exile as a haunted state of mind”.

Sign up for the UCL Urban Migration Film Festival here

Advertisements

About (sub)urbanite

Professor of Urban Form and Society and Director of the Space Syntax Lab, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. Online in a personal capacity.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to ‘Odessa . . . Odessa!’ – Ukraine, New York and Israel

  1. Pingback: Full list of films screened at the #UCL Urban Migration Film Festival and Symposium | Urban Migration Films

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s