PBS Picks up Streit’s Doc ‘Matzo and the American Dream’ for Annual Passover Telecast

Posted on: April 17th, 2019 at 4:35 am by

Outside the matzo factory, March 2014

With Passover just a couple days away – and another season without Streit’s Matzo on Rivington Street – PBS announced that it’s picked up the documentary, Matzo and the American Dream.

PBS will beam the venerable film around the country, from New York’s flagship station, WNET (Thirteen), to such far flung locales as Boise, Idaho. It will be screening throughout the rest of this month and the beginning of May to coincide with the week of Passover. However, the broadcast version is trimmed to one hour, and will include new interviews conducted by PBS with Streit family members.

There is apparently a multi-year deal in place, signaling that Matzo and the American Dream will become an annual Passover tradition on PBS.

The film’s distributor, Menemsha Films – a leading independent film distrbutor, and the premier distributor of Jewish-themed films – also released the official DVD yesterday, which includes the original 83-minute version, plus bonus footage of the factory shot in the 1940s.

During its brief theatrical residency at the Film Forum in 2016, the film surpassed expectations and became the highest grossing film at the movie house that first week.

Check out the television schedule here.

Filmmaker Michael Levine spent three years working on Matzo and the American Dream, but met a significant challenge when the subject matter decided to depart the Lower East Side after nine decades on Rivington Street. Production began in 2013; the factory announced its $30.5 million sale and subsequent move to Rockland county in 2015.

“When I began filming, neither I nor any anyone at Streit’s could have envisioned that by the time of the film’s release, the factory would leave its Lower East Side home,” Levine told us back in 2016. “So what started as basically a historical document of the Streit family history in the neighborhood, also became something of a chronicle of the challenges that led to their decision to leave their home of 90 years.”

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