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Esther Kahn Details


The English-language debut of French director Arnaud Desplechin, Esther Kahn charts the ascension of a lower-class Jewish girl from a turn-of-the-century London ghetto to one of the stage's leading actresses. Esther (Summer Phoenix) feels set apart from her large, raucous family, who are all employed in the garment business. Her life is changed when she attends a Yiddish theatre performance, and she is suddenly determined to become an actress. After joining a small theatre company, she becomes the protégé of Nathan (Ian Holm), a stage veteran who instructs her in her chosen craft. Esther gradually works her way up in the ranks -- taking a lover, brainy French theatre critic Philippe (Fabrice Desplechin), along the way -- until she is cast in the title role of Hedda Gabler, which she performs to great acclaim. ~ Rebecca Flint Marx, Rovi

  • Release date:March 1, 2002


Summer Phoenix
as Esther Kahn
Ian Holm
as Nathan Quellen
Fabrice Desplechin
as Philippe Haygard
Frances Barber
as Rivka Kahn
Laszlo Szabo
as Ytzhok Kahn
Emmanuelle Devos
as Sylvia L'Italienne
Akbar Kurtha
as Samuel Kahn
Ian Bartholomew
as Norton
Kika Markham
as Trish
Anton Lesser
as Sean


Arnaud Desplechin
Alain Sarde
Emmanuel Bourdieu
Arnaud Desplechin
Éric Gautier
Howard Shore
Composer (Music Score)
Hervé de Luze
Jean-Pierre Laforce
Sound/Sound Designer
Ray Beckett
Sound/Sound Designer
Malcolm Davies
Sound/Sound Designer
Arthur Symons
Short Story Author