- Zipporah: "Oy vey, Tovah! This New York is trouble. Papa cuts pants. We live in a tiny apartment we can no afford. Why we come?"
- Tovah: "Zipporah Feldman! Already, you forget our lives back in Russia. The Cossacks riding through our tiny village just to beat Jews like sport. We come so we can have a chance."
- — Zipporah and Tovah discuss their lives.
Dear America: Dreams in the Golden Country is a film in the Dear America series. The film first aired on April 13, 1999 on the HBO Family Channel. It was based on Kathryn Lasky's 1998 book, Dreams in the Golden Country. Natalie Vansier and Dov Tiefenbach starred as Zipporah Feldman and Yitzy Silver.
Zipporah, a Russian Jewish immigrant girl, lives in New York City with her parents and older sister. She and family struggle to fulfill their dreams in America and stay true to their Jewish roots.
In the early 1900s, a Russian Jewish immigrant, Zipporah Feldman (Natalie Vansier) lives with her parents, Sarah (Maggie Huculak) and Yasha (Paul Hecht), and elder sister, Tovah (Heather Brown), in a small tenement apartment in New York City. Zipporah struggles at school, where she is placed in the first grade because of her weak English. She befriends a boy her age named, Yitchak "Yitzy" Silver (Dov Tiefenbach), who helps her study.
Sarah argues often with her husband, who has shaved his sidelocks and sometimes misses shul. Later, she tries to find a husband for Tovah with the help of a matchmaker (Joyce Gordon). Tovah scares the lady away with talk of unions and women's rights, and insists that she will marry only for love. After having tea with Tovah and Sean O'Malley (Josh Peace), Zipporah and Yitzy spot the two kissing. Tovah confesses her love for Sean, despite Zippy's warning that their mother will be angry.
Zipporah discovers the Russian Symphony Society and speaks to them about her father. They speak to Yasha and readily agree on a rehearsal day. To say thank you, Yasha plays Zippy's favorite song on his cello. Afterwards, things get better at the Feldmans as Yasha prays more and Tovah makes peace with her mother. Zippy is quickly promoted to the ninth grade, thanks to Yitzy's dedicated tutoring. Yitzy takes her to a play at the Yiddish Theatre to celebrate. Zippy is inspired by the play and rushes home.
Tovah and Sean announce their marriage to parents. Enraged, Sarah kicks the newlyweds out and sits shiva, pretending that Tovah is dead. Remembering Tovah's words, Zippy auditions for a role at the Yiddish Theatre and wins the part. The sweatshop that Tovah works is caught on fire. Fearing for Tovah's safety, Zippy and Yitzy search for her. They find her and bring her to the Feldmans apartment, where the family makes up. Later, Zippy's family and Yitzy attend her first play.
Cast and characters
- Natalie Vansier as Zipporah "Zippy" Feldman
- Dov Tiefenbach as Yitchak "Yitzy" Silver
- Heather Brown as Tovah Feldman
- Josh Peace as Sean O'Malley
- Maggie Huculak as Sarah Feldman
- Paul Hecht as Yasha Feldman
- Joyce Gordon as Mrs. Goldfarb
- Rummy Bishop as Bass Player
- Rafael Vigod as Viola Player
- Larry Schwartz as Cello Player
Crew and credits
Home video releaseDreams in the Golden Country was released on video cassette on September 1, 1999. It was also released in a three pack with A Picture of Freedom and A Journey to the New World.
Differences from the book
- Several characters from the book are omitted, including Miriam Feldman, Bluma Wolf, Uncle Schmully, Mamie, and Boris.
- Tovah's and Miriam's characters are combined in the film. In the film, Tovah falls in love with and marries Sean, like Miriam in book. However, she retains many of Tovah's aspects from the book, such as advocating for women's rights and forming a union.
- Yitzy states that he is from Poland and is in the ninth grade. In the book, his homeland is never revealed and he is in the eighth grade.
- In the film, Yitzy helps Zipporah study, which eventually promotes her to the ninth grade. Yitzy later takes her to see her first Yiddish play to celebrate. In the book, Zipporah takes almost a year-and-a-half to be promoted to eighth grade and her father actually took her to her first play.
- Sarah already owns a sewing machine and does not rent one, like in the book. While, her husband, Yasha, is cello player instead of violin player.
- The matchmaker's name is changed from Pesseye to Mrs. Goldfarb.
- Tovah works at the Diamond Shirtwaist Factory, like Mamie in the book. The factory is also caught on fire, but unlike Mamie, Tovah is fired from her job before it happens.
- At the end of the film, all Zipporah's family and Yitzy attends her play. In the book, only Uncle Schmully, Miriam, and Sean are present at the performance.
- ↑ http://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/dear-america/episode-2/dreams-in-the-golden-country/200855/
- ↑ Credited as Mama
- ↑ Credited as Papa
- ↑ Credited as Matchmaker
- ↑ https://www.amazon.com/Dear-America-Dreams-Golden-Country/dp/0439156009/
- ↑ https://www.amazon.com/America-Collection-Journey-Picture-Freedom/dp/B001ALPJ36/
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