Based on a story by S.Y. Mendele Mokher Seforim, The Light Ahead reflects the artistic peak of American Yiddish film. It is both a fierce attack on shtetl life and a deeply romantic tale set in a small town that has been kept in the darkness of poverty and superstition by its leading citizens.
David Opatoshu and Helen Beverly are luminous as Fishke and Hodel, two passionate but poor and physically disabled lovers who dream of a better life.
Produced in 1939, the film's desperate plea for the fate of the Jewish people, as well as Edgar Ulmer's (director of film noir classic, Detour) moody cinematography, which has been immaculately restored by the National Center for Jewish Film, reflect a deep awareness of the world events that will soon devour European Jewry.