3 comments on “Oh, I Almost Forgot… Happy Passover!

  1. Hi, Hema. This is from Yahudi, a Bimal Roy film made in 1958, which starred Dilip Kumar and Meena Kumari. I actually got it for the great dances, one by Helen and Cuckoo together and one by Kamala Lakshman. But the main cast is great too, of course, and it’s not that common to find a classic Hindi film about the persecution of Jews in the Roman Empire… That’s what this film is about, more broadly, rather than Passover. But there’s a crucial scene involving a dinner and holy bread that anyone today would, I think, immediately associate with Passover (if it’s associated with anything)… So, I thought it would make for an amusing holiday greeting. By the way, Dilip Kumar’s character is a Roman prince disguised as a Jew who’s in love with a Jewish girl played by Meena Kumari (although she herself has other heritage going further back that even she doesn’t know about – which somewhat strains credulity). By throwing away the holy bread rather than being able to bring himself ot eat it, the prince has revealed to Meena’s character that something is kind of fishy…

    And hard times lie ahead… A very bad thing happens to Dilip’s character in this movie that only seems to happen (briefly) in a later movie, Kohinoor, and there are other things in this movie that make it seem almost ike a practice run for that one. The theme about persecution of the Jews is really only secondary to the dramatic romance played by Dilip and Meena (another way this is a precursor to Kohinoor), but that’s all right…

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