Friday, April 12, 2013

Holocaust In Poland Films Series Begins Sunday

This Sunday, April 14, marks the beginning of a new film series at Emmet O’Neal Library. During the months of April and May, the Library will co host a Holocaust in Poland film series along with the Birmingham International Center and the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center

Our first film, directed by Agnieszka Holland in 2012, is based on true events. It tells the story of Leopold Socha, a Catholic sewer worker in the Polish city of Lvov, who uses his knowledge of the city’s sewer system to shelter a group of Jews in the Lvov Ghetto.
What starts out as a straightforward and cynical business arrangement turns into something very unexpected, the unlikely alliance between Socha and the Jews. The film is also an extraordinary story of survivals as these men, women and children all try to outwit certain death during the 14 months of ever increasing and intense danger.

The films we will show are Rated R and are intended for adult audiences. Each week a professor of film studies from UAB will introduce the films and lead a discussion. This Sunday’s discussion will be lead by Dr. Andrew Demshuk, Assistant Professor of History.

Future films to be screened are:

Tuesday, April 23 - 6:30 p.m. - Discussion led by Dr. Andrew Demshuk

The Last Chapter 
Available from the National Center for Jewish Film

Directed by Benjamin Rothman and Lawrence Rothman, this film presents a sweeping history of Jewish life in Poland, depicting the richness of Jewish culture both religious and secular: the shtetl and the city dwellers; the contributions of Jews to Polish life; and the extreme economic and political vicissitudes to which Polish Jewry  was subject over a thousand year period.

 “The Last Chapter evokes the fragrance of a way of life 
that took a millennium to evolve and six years to destroy." -Newsweek

Tuesday, April 30 - 6:30 p.m. -  Discussion led by Dr. Andrew Demshuk

Long Is The Road
Available from the National Center for Jewish Film

This 1948 film is the first to represent the Holocaust from a Jewish perspective. Made by and about Jewish displaced persons, the film was shot on location at Landsberg, the largest DP camp in U.S.-occupied Germany. The film follows a Polish Jew and his family from the thriving Jewish community of prewar Warsaw through the horrors of Auschwitz to the frustrations and instability of refugee life in the DP camps, and culminates in the emergence of a hope for rebirth and renewal in Israel. 

Spirit of Freedom Award, 1996 Jerusalem Film Festival.

Monday, May 6 - 6:30 p.m. - Discussion led by Dr. Andre Millard, Professor of History, UAB

The Passenger (Pasazerka)
Available from Second Run DVD

Aleksandra Slaska portrays a German matron taking an ocean voyage with her husband. While roaming the deck, she spots a passenger she thinks she recognizes. The passenger had been an inmate at Auschwitz, where Slaska served as a guard. An alternately realistic and illusory study in guilt and retribution, this film was halfway through production in 1961 when its director, Andrzej Munk, was killed in an auto accident. Munk's friends loyally completed the project, bridging a few scenes with still pictures. Released in Poland, 1963; the U.S. in 1970.

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