Steve Fesenmaier has written a review of \"A BRIDGE OF BOOKS\", by Sam Ball.
Sam Ball, who is one of the managers of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, is also an excellent filmmaker. This short documentary is about one of the great book rescue stories of all time. It shows how the worldwide movement started by Aaron Lansky, a 23 year old Yiddish student in NYC, has led to saving thousands of books in Yiddish from the landfills. In the early 1980s he was told that he could only find Yiddish books for sale at an obscure bookstore in Amsterdam - or in the trash in back of homes in NYC. He began collecting books in Yiddish locally, and found that there were hundreds of immigrants who had brought their Yiddish books to the New World as \"homes away from home.\" He now has a beautiful building to house the books and has created Yiddish book collections in many American universities and other sites around the world. He claims that with 40,000 members it is the largest Yiddish organization in the world. For 1,000 years Yiddish was the dominant language of European Jews. Now it is almost dead. So interns at his National Yiddish Book Center spend mornings studying Yiddish and in the afternoon go through the vast number of books waiting for their tender hands and minds.
I have to commend Ball for making this film. As the destruction at the San Francisco Public Library revealed so well, there are many people, including librarians, who are committing true intellectual treason. Nicholson Baker\'s landmark book, \"Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper\" should be read by all book lovers. Also, all book lovers everywhere - which unfortunately seems to exclude many computer obsessed librarians - should see this film. They will never think of books in quite the same way.
Bridge of Books, A
895 29th Avenue #104
San Francisco, CA 94121