In her directorial debut, filmmaker Judy Schiller of Manhattan shares two journeys in “It Happened in Havana: A Yiddish Love Story.” One is her mother’s voyage from Poland to Cuba, where she and her family were the only Jews in their town; the other is her father’s, which began on the Lower East Side.
The film begins in Forest Hills, Queens, as Ms. Schiller’s parents, married 61 years, sit in their living room telling the story of how they met in Cuba during World War II. Her father didn’t speak Spanish and her mother didn’t speak English, so they talked to each other in Yiddish.
The film is both a romantic tale and a history lesson, and it includes period footage and home movies. The accompanying soundtrack intertwines Cuban and American music with the couple’s dialogue.
The film was shown on 13-WNET in New York and PBS in South Florida. To watch the trailer, go to ithappenedinhavana.com; there is also a link there to watch the film.