Expired April 28, 2021 6:59 AM
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A mystical meta-musical about the greatest financial fraud in history, A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff tells the story of Madoff and the system that allowed him to function for decades. This hybrid of memoir docudrama and narrative fantasy is told through the eyes of musician/poet Alicia Jo Rabins, who watches the financial crash from her ninth floor studio in an abandoned office building on Wall Street. Fueled by her growing obsession, real-life interviews transform into music videos, ancient spiritual texts become fevered fantasies of synchronized swimming, and a vivid, vulnerable work of art is born from the unique perspective of an artist watching the global financial collapse up close. (APRIL 24-26)

Director’s Statement: Alicia J. Rose

When I experienced the stage version of Alicia Jo Rabins’ one-woman socio-political-personal rock opera, I saw great cinematic potential. I saw a direct connection with the multi-level disaster wreaked by Bernie Madoff to today's culture of “alternative truths.” So when Rabins invited me to consult on how to capture the live show, I threw a curveball and pitched a vision for a feature film that stood vivid in my imagination. This hybrid-genre feature would star Rabins; but instead of singing songs about characters she met along the way to a theater audience, she would BECOME those characters in the film, allowing them to tell their own stories. We would be alongside her in New York City, playing violin on Wall Street for the tourists, obsessing about Bernie in her artist’s studio in an abandoned office high-rise, and watching the financial crash up close. I would expand the story, adding narrative fantasy and fourth wall breakage. Though Rabins had never imagined Kaddish as a film, she immediately responded to my passion for this new vision.

 Since I knew it would be a hybrid genre from the start, I decided to give the story what it needed without creative restriction—weaving together diverse forms, including musical, docudrama, animation, and narrative fantasy. We brought in choreographer Tahni Holt to help flesh out character movement, animator Zak Margolis to create original animations, and the synchronized swimmers the Rose City Raindrops to add fantasia to this unique undertaking.

Selected Filmography: A Kaddish For Bernie Madoff (feature directorial debut)

The Benefits of Gusbandry (digital series/10 episodes)

  • Year
  • Runtime
    75 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Alicia J. Rose & Alicia Jo Rabins
  • Screenwriter
    Alicia J. Rose, Alicia Jo Rabins
  • Producer
    Lara Cuddy
  • Executive Producer
    Alicia J. Rose, Alicia Jo Rabins
  • Cast
    Alicia Jo Rabins
  • Cinematographer
    Asia Brown
  • Editor
    Alicia J. Rose
  • Animator
    Zak Margolis
  • Music
    Alicia Jo Rabins