A Tickle in the Heart

Tickle in the Heart DVD coverThe award-winning documentary Film A Tickle in the Heart (Germany/Switzerland/USA 1996, Dir. Stefan Schwietert) about klezmer music legends, The Epstein Brothers, recipients of the prestigious 1998 National Heritage Fellowship from the US National Endowment for the Arts, premiered February 1996 at the Berlin Film Festival. The film is based on an original idea, script and the research of Joel Rubin and Rita Ottens and was. Rubin served as musical supervisor and research consultant on the film and appears in it as well. Tickle in the Heart was the culmination of several years of documenting the Epstein Brothers, which also resulted in Rubin and Ottens inviting the Epstein Brothers for their first international concert in Berlin 1992 (CD Jüdische Lebenswelten/Patterns of Jewish Life), their production of two CDs (Kings of Freylekh Land and Zeydes un Eyniklekh) with the brothers, as well as joint performances by Joel Rubin with the Epstein Brothers in California and Berlin. Since the making of the film, Max and Willie Epstein have passed away.

“Affects you like a sweet, potent wine, leaving you enlightened, and sated.”
(The New Yorker)

“Completely charming!”
(Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times)

“A delightful surprise!… Inspired!”
(Boston Herald)

“Irresistible music… Irresistibly earthy personalities! As spicy, filling and homey as your grandmother’s lovingly prepared old-country meals!”
(Michael Medved, New York Post)

“One from the heart! Rivets the eye with unusual visual riches.”
(The New York Times)

“The most compelling portrait of this Diaspora and the Klezmer renaissance flourishing today in the Americas and in Europe is Joel Rubin’s documentary film [about] The Fabulous Epstein Brothers”
(Atilla Csampai in New Edition/Winter & Winter, 1999)