Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

29 May 2015

Sallah Shabati

I am watching a lot of obscure stuff at the moment. This is because I am leaving Dartmouth College after this term and I am trying to watch the most difficult-to-find films that are in the library here but available in few other places. (Last time I was at Dartmouth this meant a lot of 1980s Soviet films. All of which were good!) In any case, I am trying to record these films here so that I remember them.

This morning I screened Ephraim Kishon's Sallah Shabati (סאלח שבתי‎‎) from 1964. This is a really funny satire about Israeli bureaucracy, the kind of hilarity that Kishon will continue to create in his films (especially his great movie The Policeman).

Sallah Shabati, though, stars the amazing Chaim Topol, who will go on to play Tevye the Milkman in Norman Jewison's Fiddler on the Roof. Gila Almagor is also absolutely hilarious in this picture.

There isn't much to say about this movie, but it works really well; it is very funny, and became a huge international hit.