Divan | Screen | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper


In this low-key documentary, filmmaker Pearl Gluck, a 30-something New Yorker, tries to determine her comfort level with her Hassidic background. She makes her personal journey a literal one, traveling to Hungary in pursuit of a certain divan -- a couch passed from successive generations in her family and revered for the number, and quality, of visiting rabbis who slept on it. She interviews her few remaining Hungarian relatives who survived the Holocaust, who see the divan in mostly symbolic terms; Gluck's contemporaries, other educated New Yorkers who broke with their deeply religious families, provide context for Gluck's questioning; and a Brooklyn upholsterer provides yet another commentary, on the nature and quality of 19th-century furniture.  Gluck's quest is deeply personal, but her film is warm and open, and her larger dilemma of how to successfully integrate one sort of cultural past with a different sort of future without compromise to either has wide appeal. In English, and Hungarian and Yiddish with subtitles. Manor 2.5 cameras