Samuel Finzi & Gebrüder Glücklich

Hiob
(Job)

by Joseph Roth
starring Samuel Finzi & Gebrüder Glücklich

Samuel Finzi, narrator
Valentin Butt, accordion
Roland Satterwhite, viola, vocals
Martin Mühleis, text adaptation and realisation

In his great novel Job, Joseph Roth tells the life story of the Orthodox Jewish school teacher Mendel Singer. He and his wife already have two sons and a daughter when their fourth child Menuchim is born. Menuchim is sick – his disability places a heavy burden on the entire family. Mendel suffers one misfortune after the next. However, despite all of this suffering, he never loses his clever Yiddish wit.

Joseph Roth tells this moving story in a simple yet at the same time expressive language reminiscent of the Old Testament. He leads Mendel onto an emotional rollercoaster ride between laughter and tears. Like the biblical Job, Mendel also appears to lose everything and breaks with his God. In the end, however, Mendel experiences a stroke of good fortune that reconciles him with God and life as such beyond the promises of faith. Joseph Roth's novel is about the might of traditions and their narrow-minded and contemptuous strictures, about identity and statelessness in times of civilisation breakdown, about the everlasting conflict between the generations and above all: about love and the pain of its loss. Who could be better placed to tell Mendel Singer's story than Samuel Finzi, who recounts the legend of Mendel with moving authenticity, like the great storytellers have done for centuries. Samuel Finzi became widely-known at the latest after he appeared in Til Schweiger's film Kokowääh. However, his true home is the theatre.

The viola and the accordion played by the duo Gebrüder Glücklich add the sounds of the shtetl to the story.