Paying homage to those who kept the light of Torah burning even in those trying times, Gad Elbaz returns in Ochi, a stirring remake of the famous 19th century Russian romance song Óči čjórnyje.
Living as we do today in a time and place where freedom of religion is a constitutionally guaranteed right, it is easy to forget that there were those whose existence was tinged with fear not that long ago. Their Yiddishkeit was practiced in the shadows as they prayed fervently for the opportunity to pass their heritage and traditions on to the next generation while keeping their secrets hidden from the prying eyes of those who hoped to stamp out any signs of Judaism.
Paying homage to those who kept the light of Torah burning even in those trying times, Gad Elbaz returns in Ochi, a stirring remake of the famous 19th century Russian romance song Óči čjórnyje. Filmed in Kiev, Ochi depicts the story of a Jewish family living in the Soviet Union in the 1970s, showing the difficulties faced by those who lived behind the Iron Curtain but adamantly refused to abandon their religion.
Directing and producing Ochi was a very personal experience for Sparks Next’s Daniel Finkelman.
“My grandfather was a warm Zionist Jew in Soviet times and my father was a refusenik,” explained Finkelman. “My mother is from Kiev and she studied Hebrew underground. For me, telling this story in the city where my mother grew up very much closes the circle of my own life.”
With music by Elbaz and executive producer Cecelia Margules, poignant English lyrics by Margules and an appearance by rapper Avi Benjamin, Ochi is a touching ode to a time gone by, when no sacrifice was too great when it came to preserving Yiddishkeit. Elbaz’s soulful vocals convey the deep emotional connection that kept Russian Jews tied to their religious roots despite daunting odds, a haunting reminder that we are indeed privileged to be able to worship freely, without fear of repercussion, a dream come true for so many who came before us.
Directed and produced by Daniel Finkelman
MUSIC Credits --
Composer: Gad Elbaz & Cecelia Margules
Lyrics: Cecelia Marguless & Pinchas Tsinman & Avi Benjamin
Musical Producer: Gad Elbaz
Programmer: Maor Shooshan, Oren Emanuel & Gad Elbaz
Vocals: Gad Elbaz
Piano: David Yichelevitch
Guitars: Maor Shooshan
Mixing: Oren Emanuel
Mastering: Dale Becker
Co produced by
Sawyer Purman and Ben Anderson
Co Executive producer
in memory of Refael ben Dov Berel
Milan and Marina Gofman
In memory of
Chaim and Sura Gofman
Boruch and Rachel Fraymovich
Dov and Toba Finkel
Israel and Rivka Rachel Arzhumtar
Co sponsored by
In memory of
Shapsie and Golda Baila Yankelovich
Co Sponsored by
MENDY’S RESTAURANT, Kiev
Co produced by
Refael Isaak Vilenski
DP: Sawyer Purman
2nd DP: David Orian
Line Producer: Alexandra Filonchuk
Gaffer - Vanya
Makeup / hair: Sergeeva Ilona
Choreographer: Yakov Kamishev
Set photography - Refael Isaak Vilenskiy
Transportation – Sasha Krykotun
Post Production -
Olam Media studios JLM
On-line: Aharon Orian
Off-line: Noam Nachman Yeshua
Color grading: David Orian
Co editor: Ben Anderson
Music production – Gad Elbaz
English lyrics - Cecelia Margules
Russian chorus - Pinchas Tsinman
Russian rap - Avi Benjamin
Gad Elbaz management:
Rabbi Motti Levenhartz
Rabbi Moshe Asman
Shalom and Victoria Zirkiev
All rights reserved - ZOAB Entertainment
Management and production - Shlomi Cohen
+972-52-4339353 - ISRAEL
1-3234438541 - USA
33177471253 - France
Office - +972-586-323-770
OCHI CHORNE - Lyrics
Years, looking over my shoulder Getting colder and colder How to leave When to go
Voices – grow louder and louder Sounding bolder and bolder As the drama enfolds
Oh those dark eyes Mesmerizing In their touching plea
Speaking to us silently Reaching to the skies
Ochi Chornii, Ochi Mudrii, Chasta vid’yeli Z’izn vi trudnii
Kak Chachu Sichas Ochen spyet pro vas
Ee zapomnit vsye Blyesk yevreiskich glas.
(Очи чёрные очи мудрые часто видели жизнь вы трудную
Как хочу сейчас очень спеть про вас и запомнят все блеск еврейских глаз)
Danger, hovering over Needing rescue and cover Shaking our core.
Dreams growing stronger and stronger Though we’re weary and older Its been done before.
Oh those dark eyes Tell our story Piercing through the mist
Eyes of grace and mystery How can we resist
Небеса были чёрные
Но мы знали Бог нам поможет
Без Бога и веры не сможет
Не чистая сила Боже...
Неужели все так положено,
Дети мы Бога,
Моисею дана была дорога,
Врагов у нас много,
Жить еврею не просто.
Не могу и не хочу, но прощаю,
Ни на секунду никому не доверяю.. жалость теряю.
Надо молиться нам надо,
Помоги нам Папа