***CURRENTLY IN PRE-PRODUCTION!***
A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff: The Film is inspired by Alicia Jo Rabins’ experience working in an artist residency on Wall Street during the 2008 financial collapse. For a year, Rabins wrote songs in a dilapidated office just blocks from the New York Stock Exchange, as she watched the economy come crashing down around her.
The film adapts Rabins’ critically acclaimed original one-woman chamber-rock opera about this experience, also called A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff. In the show, Rabins explored what Bernie Madoff reflects about contemporary American culture as well as our deepest human desires. Originally premiered with a live band at Joe’s Pub in NYC in 2012, A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff was further developed in collaboration with Portland theater producer Boom Arts, and went on to tour nationally as a critically acclaimed evening-length show with full-length animation by Portland artist Zak Margolis.
Ten years after the financial collapse, the questions of power, wealth and deception in American society have only grown more urgent. In A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff: The Film, director Alicia J. Rose brings Rabins’ story from stage to screen, and from past to present — maintaining the original narrative while also drawing a thread between the massively destabilizing global financial crash of 2008, and our current era of profound ethical and moral uncertainty. Like the live show, the film tells the story of Bernie Madoff and the system that allowed him to function for decades – through interviews, ancient spiritual texts, and the unique perspective of an artist watching the events unfold from her studio in an abandoned office building in NYC’s financial district.
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Thanks to the Peleh Fund and Portland’s Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) for their generous support of this project.