This film is part of Free

The Wicked One - What Does He Say?

A grief-stricken rabbi recollects life in his home country, only to find that tragedy has followed him to his new life

Amateur film 1934 11 mins Silent


Betrayal, brutality and heartbreak lead a rabbi to a new life in the UK, where a shocking coincidence sparks intense reactions. Flashbacks of past Passover Seder nights reveal tragedy and sorrow, while in the present we see the hardship of poor immigrants in Britain. Taking its title from the 'Four Sons' passage of the Passover Haggadah text, this beautifully evocative amateur film offers a glimpse into the sensibility of Yiddish melodrama.

Back in the home country, the rabbi’s son is tempted to pursue romance rather than join in the family Seder. But the risk to traditional Jewish life is greater still, as pogroms threaten Jewish communities and one subsequent Seder night, danger enters the home with tragic consequences. The sacred rituals of Passover are interrupted by violence, murder and rape. In the present day, the rabbi receives help from the 'Jews’ Temporary Shelter' (then in Mansell Street, in London’s East End) and finds work teaching in a boys’ school; but the horrors of the past continue to disturb him.