USA, 2006, 74 minutes, color
Public Exhibition Formats: Beta, DVD
“Brilliant documentary, beautifully told—and funny.” – Larry King
“Paul Mazursky delivers an enchanting world, funny, fascinating and surprisingly touching.” – Mel Brooks
“A deeply moving film-powerful-and wonderfully funny. Yippee!” – Kirk Douglas
Directed by award-winning American filmmaker, actor, and scriptwriter Paul Mazursky (Next Stop Greenwich Village, An Unmarried Woman, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Enemies: A Love Story), Yippee chronicles the director’s whirlwind journey to Uman, a small Ukrainian town that is the site of a unique, annual gathering of Jewish men making pilgrimages to the burial place of Rabbi Nachman (1772-1810).
When Mazursky was told (by his optometrist) that 25,000—mostly Hassidic—Jews from around the world were expected to visit Uman for three days of praying, singing, and dancing, the director felt compelled to make the journey himself. Arriving in the Ukraine with a small film crew, Mazursky experiences an amazing series of events. He meets and interviews a wide variety of Jewish men from many countries, sharing meals, laughs, and this unique experience. The director visits the gravesite of Hassidic movement founder the Baal Shem Tov (Nachman's great-grandfather) and talks with Uman’s non-Jews about their reactions to the annual massive influx of Hassidim. The adventure culminates on the evening of Rosh Hashanah in a mass expression of spiritual ecstasy.
Yippee is an infectious road movie filled with electricity and awe and Mazursky is a splendid guide, funny, curious, and generous.
Spertus; Chicago, IL (2012)
Jerusalem Cinematheque (2010)
Judaica Foundation/ Center for Jewish Culture, Krakow (2009)
Krakow Jewish Film Festival (2009)
Savannah Jewish Film Festival (2009)
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (2008)
Las Vegas Jewish Film Festival (2008)
Sacramento Jewish Film Festival (2008)
Detroit Jewish Film Festival (2008)
Rochester Jewish Film Festival (2007)
Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival (2007)
Palm Springs International Film Festival (2007)
Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (2007)
Lincoln Center, NYC (2007)
Vancouver Jewish Film Festival (2007)
UK Jewish Film Festival (2007)
Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles (2007)
Jerusalem Cinematheque, Jerusalem (2007)
Montreal World Film Festival (2006)
A JOURNEY TO JEWISH JOY"
World Jewish Digest, June 2007
REVIEWS: YIPPEE: A JOURNEY TO JEWISH JOY"
Hadassah Magazine, February 2007
MAZURSKY WITNESSES CHASIDS GONE WILD"
Jewish Journal, January 2007
TO UMAN: WHAT A LONG STRANGE TRIP"
The Desert Sun, January 2007
A Night in Hollywood, a Day in Ukraine (12/31/06)
pe.com Yippee feature (01/05/07)
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