Israel 1981, 49 min, Hebrew and Ladino, Hebrew & English subtitles
This unique cinematic piece about language, memory and identity follows Ladino speakers—their culture, their memories and their hopes for the future of their mother tongue. In Search of Ladino is a forgotten landmark of Holocaust cinematography, one of the first films to show Ladino speaking Holocaust survivors in Israel and to document their testimonies and songs. The film was meant to be part of a trilogy about languages—Hebrew, Yiddish and Ladino—but David Perlov never managed to make the other two. Perlov avoids being didactic. Focusing his gaze on the faces of his subjects and listening carefully to their stories and songs, he creates a film that brings the richness and diversity of Ladino culture back to life. The film screened is a restoration of the original.
Production: Liat Benhabib And Yael Perlov
Restoration Production: Yael Perlov, The Yad Vashem Visual Center
Restoration Producers: Yael Perlov, Liat Benhabib
Production Company: The Israeli Film Service
Editing: Bracha Kalchevsky
Cinematography: Yossi Wein, Gadi Danzig
Research: Levi Zini
David Perlov was born in Rio de Janeiro on 1930, and grew up in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His artistic vocation led him first to Paris where he studied at the 'Ecole des Beaux Arts' during the 50's. Perlov arrived to Israel in 1958, and his first job was to make 3-4 minute short films about the new state for the Jewish Agency. Later, Perlov directed a number of short documentary films, among them “In Jerusalem” (1963), which became a milestone in Israeli documentary filmmaking. He was one of the founders of the film department in Tel Aviv University, and, at the same time, began shooting his monumental work, “Diary”, beginning on Yom Kipour war in 1973, shooting on 16mm. He continued creating his personal and political portrait for 30 years. Among his historical cinematic works are also found "In Thy Blood" (1962) – the first Israeli documentary about the Holocaust produced by the Israel Film Service and "Memroies of the Eichmann Trial" (1979) produced by The Israeli Broadcasting Authority, restored by Yad Vashem in 2011, and screened at DocAviv in 2012.