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A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff

  • United States of America (USA)
  • Feature
  • 2021
  • 75 min.
  • Director(s): Alicia J. Rose
  • Producer(s): Lara Cuddy


An artistic excommunication set in 2008, A Kaddish For Bernie Madoff is a mystical meta-musical about the greatest financial fraud in history. A hybrid of musical memoir and narrative fantasy, the film tells the story of Madoff and the system that allowed him to function for decades through the eyes of musician/poet Alicia Jo Rabins, who watches the financial crash from her 9th floor studio in an abandoned office building on Wall Street. Fueled by her growing obsession, real-life interviews transform into music videos, ancient spiritual texts become fevered fantasies of synchronized swimming, and a vivid, vulnerable work of art is born from the unique perspective of an artist watching the global financial collapse up close.

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Alicia J. Rose


Lara Cuddy

Executive Producer(s)

Alicia Jo Rabins, Alicia J. Rose


Alicia J. Rose, Alicia Jo Rabins


Asia Brown, Brad Reeb


Alicia J. Rose

Original Music

Alicia Jo Rabins

Original Language





Zak Margolis


Tahni Holt

Production & Costume design

Nora Colie & Sarah Turner

Supported by

Portland's Regional Arts and Culture Council; Peleh Fund; Jack Straw Cultural Center

Festival Highlights


    Audience Award
    Ashland Independent Film Festival

    Visionary Award
    Sarasota International Film Festival

    1st Feature Directors Award
    Port Townsend Film Festival

Ann Arbor Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2022

Or Shalom Film Society, Canada, 2022

Savannah Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2022

New York Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2022

POFF: Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, Estonia, Rebels with a Cause Competition, 2021

Port Townsend Film Festival, USA, Official Competition, 2021

Ashland Independent Film Festival, USA, Official Competition, 2021

Sarasota International Film Festival, USA, Official Competition, 2021

Portland International Film Festival, USA, Official Competition, 2021

Washington Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2021


  • ""The film by Alicia Jo Rabins and Alicia J. Rose may be about the financial crisis of 2008, but its images and themes couldn't feel more current.""
    - Alma
  • ""If Anna Deavere Smith, Sarah Koenig, and Joey Soloway wrote a self-reflexive musical about finance and religion, it might approach [this] film’s impish, mystical's a blessing.""
    - The Atlantic
  • ""A hallucinogenic, experimental art piece grappling with identity and betrayal. There are mesmerizing sequences of synchronized swimmers and witchy rituals created by Rose." "
    - The Forward
  • ""A post-modern masterpiece and a top-shelf contemporary art film...Highly, highly recommended""
    - The Rogue Valley Messenger