Why is it important to make this film?

When you hear the word Jewish, eroticism usually doesn’t come to mind.

Celia Dropkin writes consistently of unrequited love, loneliness, erotic desires – even unbridled violence towards men who have disappointed her, leaving the reader wondering – did this housewife and mother of 5, live a double life – or were her poems fictitious and imaginative?

Long hidden, recently uncovered and translated from Yiddish, this is a story that literally burns off the page.

The legacy of one of the greatest Yiddish poets has been buried by time and repression obscuring one central fact. Celia’s work expands not only what it means to be a sexual being and Jewish but to be utterly, shamelessly human.

This documentary tells the story of Celia Dropkin’s early life and literary influences in Russia; her rise to prominence in New York; her struggles to be acknowledged for her art by the male critics of the day; her marriage to her husband Shmaye (Samuel) and her suspected affairs; the dramatic stories behind some of her greatest writing.


The film has been partially supported to date through a bequest from the estate of Frank and Rosie Nelson. We are currently looking for funds to complete the film.

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