Producer/Directors: Joann Sfar, Antoine Delesvaux
Writers: Sandrina Jardel, Joann Sfar, based on his comic books
Music: Olivier Daviaud, Amsterdam Klezmer Band
Voices: François Morel, Maurice Bénichou, Hafsia Herzi, François Damiens, Mathieu Amalric
27 March 2012, Walter Reade Theater, NYC
“You can never return to Eden.”
Comic book artist Joann Sfar’s follow-up to his debut feature Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque) is a triumphant 3-D adaptation of his five-volume cartoon saga about a rabbi, his daughter Zlabya, and his cat, who starts to speak one day after eating the beautiful parrot that they keep in their house.
The story takes place in 1920s Algiers, where Jewish and Islamic communities – both ostracized by the French colonials – existed in relative peace and rabbis and sheiks could be friends.
A young Russian painter arrives in a coffin. He has a dream of discovering a mythical Jerusalem populated by black Jews. The rabbi, his cat, a sheik, and a donkey set off with him deep into Africa in a 1925 Citroen halftrack sporting a Russian flag with the Mogen David, meeting exotic characters (including Tintin in the Congo), and finding adventure and romance along the way.
Four years in the making, showing love in every frame, in shimmering beauty with homages to Will Eisner, Karl Barks, Marc Chagall and who knows other past artists, Le chat du rabbin is a leap forward in humanism and cinematic art.
Film website: http://www.ugcdistribution.fr/le-chat-du-rabbin/
Update: US Distributor – Gkids (2012)