Post-screening discussion with Lisa Rivo and Sharon Rivo, co-directors of the National Center for Jewish Film, on Jan. 11 & 14

In this restoration of a classic from 1939, screening on 35mm, audiences have the delightful chance to witness the only big-screen appearance of Esther Field, the 1930s radio star who was known as the quintessential “Yiddishe Mama.” A domestic melodrama starring Field as an immigrant Jewish widow in New York who bears witness to the gradual deterioration of her family and loss of tradition due to neighborhood crime and the realities of assimilation, Mothers of Today is an example of the shund genre, forthrightly sentimental, low-budget films that were popular with working-class Jewish immigrant communities. Shot in the Bronx, this fascinating and moving historical artifact is also a showcase for traditional Jewish music and prayers, and still has the power to grip and move viewers with its authentic emotional directness. Film restoration by the National Center for Jewish Film