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 - Rise to fame - Netflix

By the early 1920s, Leivick was writing poetry and drama for several Yiddish dailies, including the Communist Morgen Freiheit. From 1936 to his death, he wrote regularly for Der Tog. He was also active as an editor, working with fellow writer Joseph Opatoshu on an exhaustive series of Yiddish anthologies. Leivick was involved with Di Yunge, a group of avant-garde American-Yiddish poets who praised Yiddish for its artistic and aesthetic possibilities, not merely a conduit for disseminating radical politics to the immigrant masses. Di Yunge included such notable personalities as Moyshe-Leyb Halpern and Mani Leib. Leivick spent most of his life employed as a wallpaper-hanger while simultaneously pursuing his writing. Leivick's style was neo-Romantic and marked by a deep apocalyptic pessimism combined with an almost naive interest and yearning for the mystical and messianic, themes that continually appeared in his writing, particularly The Golem, which depicted the Jewish Messiah and Jesus Christ as representatives of a peaceful redemption, only to be chased away by the Maharal of Prague and his violent Golem, who ultimately rampaged through the streets of Prague injuring large numbers of people, both Jews and Christians. In The Golem, Leivick simultaneously condemned any attempts to heal the world through violence, but also highlighted the fallibility and impotence of all would-be Messiahs. The poem was widely interpreted as a thinly veiled critique of the Bolshevik Revolution and caused Leivick to be criticized by the Soviet Union and Communist Yiddishists. Leivick stopped writing for the Communist papers in 1929 following their public support for the Arab riots in Palestine and broke off all connections with the left following the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939. Leivick's writing also incorporated his deep childhood wounds from his abusive father and unpleasant experiences with Orthodox Judaism, as well as his years of imprisonment. Leivick's own suffering strongly influenced that of his poetic characters', taking on near-mythic proportions and requiring similarly grandiose acts of redemption. Many of his poems dealt with themes of illness or exile, and his more realistic works were often set in sweatshops, like the ones Leivick had worked in as a new immigrant in Philadelphia. Leivick's work strongly resonated with the Yiddish public and helped him become one of the most prominent Yiddish poets in the world.

Riots and Revolutions: My Arab Journey - References - Netflix