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Isa Kremer lived life to the fullest as the premier singer of authentic Yiddish songs. The first woman to perform Yiddish songs on the concert stage, she legitimized the language as a valid and vital part of Jewish culture. A classically trained opera star, Isa acted out these folk tunes using her voice, gestures, and mannerisms, offering emotional and dramatic interpretations. Using rare footage, hundreds of photos, and interviews with friends, family members, performers, and scholars, Isa: The People’s Diva chronicles Kremer’s life across five decades. Not only did her career parallel some of the 20th-century’s most tumultuous events--the Russian Revolution, the rise of Nazism, and the volatile politics of South America--her career was directly affected by their outcome. Despite personal trauma and political turmoil, Kremer never backed down from controversy, took the easy path, or surrendered to pressure to stop performing in Yiddish. Isa: The People’s Diva reclaims the legacy of this complex, passionate woman, who transcended both time and geographic borders, from the lost pages of history. “[Kremer] searches for hidden treasure in the realm of art. She sings with her voice, her body, her eyes, and she captivates with her charm” (Los Angeles Times, Dec. 19, 1924).

Ted Schillinger---USA---2000---56 mins.
  • Facets DVD on Demand: This DVD-R is manufactured on demand and is expected to play back in DVD-Video "play only" devices.
  • Includes and interview with Ted Schillinger and "Isa’s Songs Performed Live."