Watch Yentl

"In a time when the world of study belonged only to men, there lived a girl who dared to ask why?"

"Yentl" is a musical and a dramatization of the short story "Yentl the Yeshiva Boy". Yentl (played by Barabara Streisand) is the only remaining child of Rebbe Mendel. Her older brother Anshel has died, as has her mother. Her father, a teacher of the Talmud by profession, gives his beloved daughter an education in secret. At the time the story is set, it was forbidden for women to learn the Talmud.

When her father dies, leaving her alone and somewhat ill equipped to live the life of a woman, which doesn't appeal to her anyway, she dresses as a boy, takes her deceased brother's name, and leaves her village. In the guise of a boy, she gains admittance to a Yeshiva, a school open only to men where the Talmud is taught.

At this school, she becomes friends with a classmate named Avigdor (played by Mandy Patinkin). Avigdor is engaged to a woman named Hadas (played by Amy Irving). But when it is revealed that his brother's death was a suicide, her parents call off the wedding. According to Judaism, suicide is a serious sin. Avigdor knew this and lied to cover it.

In an unexpected twist, Yentl ends up wed to Hadas. Yentl tells her new bride, who as a woman is forbidden from studying Talmudic law and thus knows nothing of the Talmud and Torah, that she cannot be compelled to consummate the marriage as long as she is still in love with Avigdor. Thus, for a time, Yentl manages to live as a husband without even her wife knowing that she is really a woman.

Ultimately, her secret is revealed. In the end, Avigdor ends up married to Hadas and Yentl leaves for America in hopes of being able to live a life as openly female and openly educated. The ending of the movie is a significant departure from the original story and has been criticized as both unrealistic and overly optimistic.

PG
| 1983 | 2 hr 12 min | 6.6/10
Cast
Studio
Director
Barbra Streisand
Language
English
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