Revisiting Fiddler on the Roof

My family and I recently saw a live performance of Fiddler on the Roof. It was my daughter’s first time seeing the play and as we discussed it afterwards, I marveled at how my perspective of the show has changed over the years.

I first saw Fiddler in the 1970’s when I was a young girl. I always identified with Tevye’s daughters and their hopes and fears as they dealt with their roles in their traditional village and the changes overtaking their world.

Upon seeing the play again, as the mother of a twenty year old, I discovered that my perspective had shifted. When as a girl I could not understand Golde’s preoccupation with planning her daughters’ futures, as an adult I now saw her point of view. It’s not the “can my daughter make a good match” aspect of Golde that I mean; it’s the concern over the future of a beloved child.

When I was younger I watched as Hodel, the second daughter, boarded the train for Siberia so she could be with the man she loved, and I saw nothing but the romance and the adventure. Now as a parent watching that scene, I cringed at the thought of sending a child off to a far away place, perhaps never to see her again.

And the songs! My sisters and I would often sing the Matchmaker song. Now, as I watched the play, it was Do You Love Me that held my attention and Sunrise, Sunset that brought tears to my eyes.

My daughter was enthusiastic about the show and wanted to see the movie to compare it to the stage production. She borrowed the DVD from the library, along with the Broadway soundtrack.

We spent an enjoyable evening later that week watching the film version and had an animated discussion about Tevye’s daughters and the choices each made. I watched my daughter as she focused on Tevye’s daughters and thought of a stanza from Sunrise, Sunset. Swiftly fly the years…


If you would like to revisit Fiddler on the Roof or perhaps see it for the first time, you can find the movie, soundtrack, and the musical score all at the library.

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IndieFlix Picks – Winter Sports Shorts

Are you still in the grips of Olympic Fever? If you couldn’t get your fill of cold-weather sports from the Winter Games, here are three independent short films available on IndieFlix that might fill the gap:

1) Wapos Bay: There’s no “I” in Hockey (24 min) All ages. Awesome animation is used to tell the story of a traditional community in Canada. A neighboring town’s hockey team comes to play Wapos Bay. Will teamwork help them win? Lots of lessons to be learned in the family-friendly Wapos Bay web series.

2)  Appointment in Vancouver  (34 min)  All ages. The amazing, true story of Casey Puckett, who battles injury and long odds to compete in numerous Olympic Games – including the 2010 winter games in Vancouver. After retiring from alpine racing, Puckett finds that the new extreme sport Skier Cross suits his talent perfectly.  A selection at the Heartland Film Festival.

3)  The Rink  (13 min)  All ages. A short film that tells the story of Charlie, a misfit disrespected by his brothers in a family coping with the loss of their wife and mother. Charlie’s journey is a coming-of-age quest to earn his older brothers’ respect and fit in by learning to play the game of hockey. He is aided in his quest by the sudden appearance of his deceased grandfather’s ghost, who has returned with some unfinished business.

If you’re in the mood for something a little longer, try:

ways2winter (105 min) Ages 13+. This documentary follows two Brits (Will and Heather) who live and work at a mountain resort in the French Alps, which feature some of the top skiing destinations in the world. Video diaries and interviews bare Will and Heather’s souls as they overcome personal and work issues, struggling to find a balance between life on and off the mountain. It gets pretty intense at times, and their honesty gives viewers an insight into their feelings and contradictions.

Valdez Goes Extreme (60 min) All Ages. The oil spill in Valdez leaves some guilt money for Exxon to hand out. Some people dream up an extreme skiing event to be held each year and soon the whole town of Valdez embraces the championships. Amazing scenics and true extreme skiing, starring the late Doug Coombs, also Jim Conway, Kristen Ulmer, and many old school greats shred away.

IndieFlix is one of many online services we offer at Cheshire Library. With your Cheshire Library Card, you get free access to thousands of streaming movies (full length, shorts and documentaries) from independent filmmakers and more than 2,000 film festivals worldwide, including SXSW, Sundance, Cannes, and Slamdance.   Have you tried IndieFlix yet?