The Pin

The first Yiddish Canadian narrative drama, The Pin! Look, you know you’re in trouble when they start trotting out the “firsts”. I mean, maybe the first Canadian movie was a big deal—although, probably not since people were just shooting stuff without any real sense of history (or at least anyone caring much). Maybe the first Yiddish movie. Maybe even the first Yiddish Canadian movie!

But I’m guessing there must’ve been a Canadian documentary done in Yiddish at some point, and very possibly a Yiddish comedy, and doubtless Canadian movies about Jews, so we’re down to the first Canadian narrative drama in Yiddish.

This is a very low budget film. As a result, it combines a recent favorite padding device (extended shots of very nice scenery) with a classic low-budget ‘50s technique (a narrator to exposit) that basically kills the film’s momentum at every turn.

Outside of that, it kind of reminded me of a dark version of The Notebook, without the horrible pandering.

The story is that a Jewish girl fleeing the destruction of her village wanders into a barn where a Jewish boy who has also fled is hiding. They hide out, they talk, they’re suspicious, but they get over it, they fall in love and then are separated.

None of this is spoilers, by the way, the movie is entirely the flashback of the boy, now grown old, who is a shomer (one who watches over the dead), who recognizes his long-lost love when he’s tasked to take care of her.

It’s actually a fine story, with good acting and even direction, but there’s only about 40 minutes of it stretched out into more than double that.

It may seem odd, but this is one of the advantages of seeing films in the theater. This is the kind of film it would be very hard to focus on anywhere else and, again, it is a good story, worthy of some attention, but so sparse as to be virtually unwatchable if there’s any distraction.

I hope the director gets a chance—and the money—to flesh out her next idea.

The Boy says “Meh”.

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