Riots and Revolutions: My Arab Journey - Netflix

Nel Hedayat meets the young rebels of the Arab spring and witnesses a new wave of violence breaking out around them.

Riots and Revolutions: My Arab Journey - Netflix

Type: Documentary

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: 2012-03-05

Riots and Revolutions: My Arab Journey - H. Leivick - Netflix

H. Leivick (pen name of Leivick Halpern, December 25, 1888 – December 23, 1962) was a Yiddish language writer, known for his 1921 “dramatic poem in eight scenes” The Golem. He also wrote many highly political, realistic plays, including “Shop.” He adopted the pen name of Leivick to avoid being confused with Moyshe-Leyb Halpern, another prominent Yiddish poet.

Riots and Revolutions: My Arab Journey - Early life and imprisonment - Netflix

Leivick was born in Chervyen, Belarus, the oldest of nine children. His father was a Yiddish instructor for young servants. Leivick was raised in a traditional Jewish household and attended a yeshiva for several years, an experience he thoroughly disliked and depicted in his dramatic poem Chains of the Messiah. Leivick joined the Jewish Bund before or during the 1905 Russian Revolution. The influence of the organization helped to convince Leivick to become secular and to focus his writing on Yiddish rather than Hebrew. In 1906 Leivick was arrested by Russian authorities for distributing revolutionary literature. He refused any legal assistance during his trial and delivered a speech denouncing the government instead:

I will not defend myself. Everything that I have done I did in full consciousness. I am a member of the Jewish revolutionary party, the Bund, and I will do everything in my power to overthrow the tsarist autocracy, its bloody henchmen, and you as well.

Leivick, then only eighteen, was sentenced to four years of forced labor and permanent exile to Siberia. His prison years were spent in St. Petersburg, Moscow and Minsk, where he wrote Chains of the Messiah. In March 1912 he was marched to Siberia on foot, a journey that lasted more than four months. Leivick was eventually smuggled out of Siberia with the assistance of Jewish revolutionaries in America and sailed to America in the summer of 1913.

Riots and Revolutions: My Arab Journey - References - Netflix