"The Stories of Rabbi Nachman,” a first-of-its-kind feature film based on four tales by the great Rebbe from Uman, will begin touring Israel in August.
(Click here to watch the movie trailer.)
The filmmaker, Tzvi Fishman, who was a Hollywood scriptwriter before becoming religiously observant and making aliyah, launched the film project last year, after three decades of keeping a safe distance from the film industry. While he is not a Breslover Hassid himself, he explained to Arutz Sheva that he sees the Rebbe's stories as “wonderful tales that look like they are children's fables but have a very deep meaning.”
The film stars Yehuda Barkan, Israel’s all-time box-office champ, and winner of last year’s prestigious Ofir Award for lifetime achievement in the Arts. Its main message is that of the importance of being joyful as a basic mitzvah [commandment] in the life of a Jew: “Often we forget to live in joy, and these stories have the power to cause a person to awake from the sleep, and the routine of obeying mitzvot, to being happy – and that is the central point in these tales,” Fishman said.
He already has his eyes set on future filmmaking projects, including an educational film about Sefer Hakuzari by Rabbi Yehuda Halevi, and a possible Hollywood production about the Chanukah story that “will cause every Jew who watches it to feel Jewish pride.”
Fishman has high hopes that the new Minister of Culture, Miri Regev (Likud), will undo the Left's control of funding for film productions, and make it possible for religious and nationalist themes to make it onto the big screen. “We will show, with God's help, that we can make film productions at the highest level, and that our authors are no lesser than Amos Oz,” he predicted. “We have a message that the Nation of Israel is hungry for now, and if we make a little noise, we will be able to get the funds transferred to us, so we can show them what the tradition of Israel is.”
Fishman's film company, Shoshana Street Productions, is busy organizing screenings in communities throughout Israel, beginning in August. A listing of screenings will be posted on the movie's website, www.rebbenachmanmovie.com, which will hit the Internet next week.
Before putting out a DVD, Fishman is running a grassroots campaign at http://jewcer.com/project/stories-of-rebbe-nachman-the-movie to have the film translated into six languages, "so that Jews all over the world can enjoy the film and its messages of faith, trust in Hashem, and joy." He says that people who are eager to see the film can help by organizing screenings at the community center in their communities and contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.