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Fiddler on the Roof (Cinematography Study)

I love this movie it is a classic in my heart and in film history. Here I am comparing two frames in the song “If I were a Rich Man”.

In this song he goes from fantasizing about being rich and revered, (having people serve him and look to him for wisdom,) to asking God why they made him poor.

I love that these two shots are very similar, and when he talks to god he he directs his questions at the spot he climbed down from, where he pretended to be in power. Relating the rich to gods and his relationship to god as a servant with no choice but to bend in their mercy.

The composition of the shots are great too, in the second one the camera just took a little step back, to frame Tevye with the boards. It also gives a surreal impression that their really is someone there looking down at him and we are seeing from that person’s point of view. The lights peeking through the barn walls also direct the eyes and are a subtle metaphor to the prison of poverty.

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