Where is it written what is destined for me?

And can it be a bit more than just a piece of sky seen through the window?

That's, in pop music categories, the hookline to Barbra Streisand's song "A Piece of Sky" -- and also to the 1983 film "Yentl," which she directed and starred in.

It is based on Isaac Bashevis Singer's short story "Yentl, Yeshiva Boy" about a Jewish girl from Polish shtetl around the turn of the century who dresses up as a boy in order to go to university.

A love triangle develops with fellow student Avigdor and his fiancé Hadass, who falls in love with Yentl while she loves Hadass.

And maybe the song, the film and Yentl's exclamation "Nothing's impossible!"

Jan Wiele

Editor in the Feuilleton.

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Born in Brooklyn in 1942 and soon after having lost her father, she could sing a song about that.

Despite her mother's skepticism, she pushed through her will to try show business.

Similar to Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand got her start as a singer in New York's Greenwich Village - only not in folk music, but in the Great American Songbook and in musicals.

Then it went fast.

Celebrated for her voluminous voice and theatrical talent, she found success on Broadway at twenty in the play I Can Get It for You Wholesale and released her debut album shortly thereafter.

At Columbia Records she had negotiated a contract that was unusual for a performer, which gave her free choice of songs - a move that was also important for later albums and thus for her profile.

Too long at the fair

She took the liberty of choosing not the most well-known tracks from star songwriters like Harold Arlen, but instead his "A Sleepin' Bee" co-written with Truman Capote, or the delicate version of Billy Barnes' "I Stayed Too" on her second album Long at the Fair".

In the 1970s she proved that she could also sing soul (“Stoney End”) and soon recorded disco numbers (like with the Bee Gees).

This was followed by soft pop, many ballads and duets, in which she sang partners like Neil Diamond or Don Johnson on the wall.

She has sung just about every genre on more than sixty albums, including traditional Jewish songs like an adaptation of the prayer "Avinu Malkeinu".

Her ballads, which often became the title songs of her films at the same time, are in comparison to those of Carole King, for example, much silkier and even more cheesy - and perhaps precisely because of this they have become the epitome of American intimacy, which some consider to be typically American kitsch - " misty watercolor memories of the way we were,” as she sings.

Streisand's screen career began in the late 1960s with the musical adaptations Funny Girl and Hello, Dolly.

Peter Bogdanovich's screwball comedy "What's Up, Doc?", in which she drove Ryan O'Neal crazy in 1972 and also some viewers with turbo chatter, as a recent survey by the "New York Times" showed, still differs to this day ghosts.

Of Sidney Pollack's love drama "The Way We Were" (1973), on the other hand, more than a blurry watercolor memory remains: namely the burned into the cinema memory of the dream couple from Streisand as a communist and Robert Redford as the Über-American, which unfortunately fails.

Send in the clowns!

The sometimes harsh criticism of her directorial debut “Yentl” bothered Streisand;

nevertheless, a few years later she pulled herself together for the successful drama "Lord of the Tides" (1991).

As has often been rumored, Streisand's face didn't meet the ideal of beauty at the beginning of her career.

Anyone who sees her looking through the shelves for the first time in "Is what, Doc?" can hardly imagine anything more beautiful.

That's why it seems quite unbelievable when she plays the ugly duckling again in her film "Love Has Two Faces" (1996) - after all, she had long since become an icon.

Some also see her as a poster child for “Second Wave Feminism in New Hollywood Cinema” (as a university lecture was titled).

She has been involved in many ways, for women, for democratic politicians, against anti-Semitism and against Donald Trump.

Her parody of the classic song "Send in the Clowns" aimed at him at an evening gala will also be remembered.

Barbra Streisand, who is known as a perfectionist, who has published a book on design and is said to have set up a fantasy Pacific New England on her enormous Malibu estate, was predicted as early as 1963 that she would still be famous fifty years from now .

That's how it happened and even better.

Today she celebrates her eightieth birthday.

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