Learn about upcoming and previously aired programs and get more information about events and screenings below. Click on the following programs or channels to watch their respective previews.

WORLD

Community & Culture | Programs | News

18 Voices Sing the Kol Nidre

18 Voices Sing the Kol Nidre

Watch Sunday, September 1, 2013 at 6pm on WMHT TV

How did one prayer, the Kol Nidre, become so important to one people, the Jews—and then to the world? And it asks a more minor, though no less interesting, question: how did a prayer that doesn’t even mention God become so sacred?

The answers arrive with 18 voices sing Kol Nidre, when 18 storytellers share their tales about the prayer. Each tells his or her story with the help of unique visuals and unique musical settings for the haunting melody. The 18 voices—18 storytellers—include a renowned holocaust survivor who remembers her Yom Kippur in Auschwitz when 1000 women accompanied the chant with “shrieking—one, long, incredible cry.” 

The Kol Nidre’s words have caused centuries of persecution, but its poignant melody has enthralled generations of Jews and non-Jews and saved the prayer from itself. 
The program tells the Kol Nidre story impressionistically through the tales, the anecdotes, of those who have been touched by it, be they top experts on the chant or just those who have been changed by chanting it.

Also, African-American author Julius Lester, a convert to Judaism as an adult, who recalls as a boy practicing the melody on piano “as its beauty and pain twisted together like the braids of a girl’s hair.” 

And a legal scholar who goes back to the middle ages to paint the scene, complete with medieval illustrations, of France’s King Louis IX putting Judaism on trial and using as exhibit one the Kol Nidre. 

A composer demonstrates how the chant has reached beyond Jewish circles, adapted by non-Jewish musicians from Beethoven to Johnny Mathis to the Electric Prunes. 

And a film critic shows how the Kol Nidre burst onto the general pop scene with the first talking film, “The Jazz Singer” in 1927, which included, among the first words ever heard on film, the Kol Nidre. 

In short, learn the secrets of a sacred chant from those who have been touched by it. Nominated for two Emmys.

Click for more information.

Independent Lens Blog

Trials of Muhammad Ali Simulcast: Online Screening and Live Chat

The Trials of Muhammad Ali Exclusive Screening & Live Chat with Director Bill Siegel Monday April 14, 10pm ET/7 PT Independent Lens, Kartemquin Films, and Eight Arizona are trying something new...

Bill Siegel’s 12 Documentaries That Had Biggest Impact on Him

  Documentary filmmaker Bill Siegel, whose previous film (co-directed with Sam Green) The Weather Underground was nominated for an Oscar, returns to the world of American political activism an...

NPR People & Places

comments powered by Disqus