Eatala: A Life in Klezmer (2011)

About the Film

Klezmer is Eastern European Jewish folk music. In other parts of the country, klezmer seemed to disappear and then was revived. But in Philadelphia, the Hoffman family never stopped playing this music. This film, “Eatala: A Life in Klezmer” shares the unique Ukrainian-Jewish klezmer sounds of Elaine Hoffman Watts and Susan Watts, third and fourth generation klezmorim. Including dynamic concert footage, family movies, interviews and historic photos, the documentary shows what this music means, and how it has remained vital. “Eatala” is a loving portrait of NEA National Heritage Award-winner Elaine Hoffman Watts (her Yiddish name is “Eatala”) and her family legacy. The documentary shows how a feisty and determined musician has broken barriers as a musician, a working mother, and in her persistent devotion to her family\'s klezmer music. Drawing on performance footage, family movies and photographs, and interviews, “Eatala” shows how the klezmer tradition has been sustained over four generations in a single family, with a good dose of humor and joy. “Eatala” features performances by Elaine Hoffman Watts, Susan Lankin Watts and an all-star klezmer band with Josh Dolgin, Jay Krush, Rachel Lemisch, Hankus Netsky, Henry Sapoznik, and Carmen Staaf.


For licensing, film rights and permissions, contact Barry Dornfeld, Debora Kodish, the distributor Philadelphia Folklore Project, or Folkstreams.