Cantor documentary opens for one day at 500 theaters


LOS ANGELES (JTA) — A new documentary chronicling the journey of a group of American cantors to Poland will be screened simultaneously in nearly 500 movie theaters.

“100 Voices: A Journey Home,” a 91-minute documentary, offers more than a travelogue with musical performances. The film is a remarkable visual tour of Jewish life in prewar Poland, a history of the cantorial art of chazanut, and a hopeful vision of the resurgence of Jewish life in the blood-soaked land, anchored in the reconciliation of Catholics and Jews.

On Sept. 21 at 7 p.m., 488 major movie theaters throughout the United States, except in Alaska and Wyoming at the latest listing, will simultaneously screen “100 Voices.”

The American cantors traveled to Poland last year to sing in Europe’s largest concert hall, located in Warsaw.

The movie presents moments of laughter in Warsaw, such as when a cantor imitates a Yiddish shtick once performed by his father in the same city, and moments of awe, when massive choirs and orchestras of Polish gentiles sing and play old Jewish prayers and Israel’s national anthem.

"100 Voices" also shows a memorial service at the gates of Auschwitz paying tribute to the 1,300 cantors who perished in the Holocaust.

The film will run Sept. 22-28 in New York and Los Angeles to qualify for Academy Award consideration.

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