Siddhesh Joshi

I Am Josh Polonskis Brother

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3.1/5 AlloCine

Genre  Drama
Screenplay  Raphael Nadjari
Country  France United States
6.5/10 IMDb

Director  Raphael Nadjari
Music director  Vincent Segal
Cast  Richard Edson
Writer  Raphael Nadjari
Language  English
Release date  June 6, 2001 (2001-06-06)
Similar movies  Related Raphael Nadjari movies

I Am Josh Polonski's Brother is Raphael Nadjari's second feature film. It was shot in New York City in 1999 and early 2000, in S8mm 200 ASA. The film was selected in the Berlin Film Festival at the Forum.



The Polonski brothers, Abe, Ben and Josh, work together in their family's fabric store on the lower east side of Manhattan. Like any other Jewish family they go to their mother's to spend the Sabbath together. But one day, Josh is shot to death in the middle of the street in front of Abe's eyes.. For Ben the tragic situation has an explanation - the nightlife of Josh - but Abe wants to understand what happened. Following the path of his brother, he walks in the same foosteps, finding more and more of himself.

Production and release

Shot in two period, one of 15 days during December 1999 and a few days of retakes in April 2000, in Super-8 format and improvised with no script, I Am Josh Polonski's Brother was shot mainly in Orchord Street in New York City, it includes rare footages of the Rivington's First Roumanian-American congregation. The film premiered at the Forum of Young Cinema in the Berlin Film Festival. The film was then released in France by distributor MK2 and more than 50,000 people came to see it in theaters even though it was shot in S8. Kodak supported the film to prove that it was doable to approach a true narrative feature in such a format in the midst of the digital age. Nadjari not only proved it but demonstrated that the digital age, instead of reducing media to its own format, is in fact a great system of expanding the possibilities of most film and video formats.

Nadjari's idea is that the digital age is an archiving system that enables any other format to fit, not technically, but more to integrate with the story we want to tell. It is thus possible to use almost any recording device and have it fit to a narrative integration. Here the film was about family and nostalgia for film of the 70's, Super-8 film was the best format to fuse the format with its content.

Awards and nominations

  • Berlin Film Festival (2001) - Forum of Young Cinema
  • References

    I Am Josh Polonski's Brother Wikipedia
    I Am Josh Polonskis Brother IMDbI Am Josh Polonskis Brother AlloCine

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