The signs were there.
Barbra Streisand, brilliant actress, songwriter, singer, producer, screenwriter and Duck Sauce songstress, has just released her memoirs under the title my name is barbaraand in them they relate lots of anecdotes about his life on stage or behind the cameras and also about his private life. Your nose is a topic that has its own space dedicated among the almost 1000 pages of the book, but let’s look better at one of its great leftovers, yentl.
yentl is a musical movie from 1983 directed and starring Barbra Streisand who plays a young Jewish woman from the 19th century who disguises herself as a man in order to study the Torah, Jewish law, in a society where women are prohibited from entering to religious education. While adopting the identity of his late brother, Yentl faces emotional and social challenges, including the fight to hide your true identity and his growing attraction to a fellow student. The film addresses themes of gender, identity and the desire to pursue dreams against social norms, all framed in a beautiful soundtrack and an outstanding performance by Streisand.
But how did Barbra Streisand come to record a film that would ultimately help her win not one but two Academy Awards? Well, there was a bit of stubbornness and a bit of occultism, since I was beginning to lose interest in filming this adaptation of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s short story after receiving several noes from many other producersbut his father’s spirit made him renew his desire to film it.
It all starts with Streisand’s brother, Sheldon, going to one of these sessions and according to him, contacting his late father. Sheldon’s enthusiasm was such that he managed to convince his sister to pay a visit to the aforementioned spiritualist, and Barbra Streisand ended up terrified but convinced that what had happened there was realalthough I still didn’t know what I had to do yentlbut the seed had already been planted.
In the session, the medium devised a system to communicate with the dead through knocks on the tablewhere a certain number of strokes was equivalent to a letter and so on. One of the spirits gave them only an A, from their grandmother Anna, but the next, more energetic, spelled “Manny”, the father’s nickname. And she continued to spell: “I’m sorry. Sing with pride.” “It sounds incredible,” writes the actress and singer, “but it’s the damn truth,” she says.
But why precisely Yentl?
Her father’s supposed message is still ambiguous for a person who has dedicated his entire life to singing and acting, so why did Barbra know that he was saying it for yentlthe work in which he had already lost all hope? That came days later, with the now writer also wanting to know more about her father, so she visited her brother at her house and dedicated herself to seeing old pictures. One of them was from his father’s grave, where he could see that The tombstone next to his bore the name Anshel.which also turns out to be the pseudonym that Yentl uses in the original story of Singer when posing as a man, and, as Streisand points out, “it’s not the most common name in the world.”