Finding Kalman| 28mins
Director: Roz Jacobs | Producer: Laurie Weisman
Focus Years: 2011 | Country: United States
In this profoundly touching inter-generational documentary, a charismatic Holocaust survivor inspires her family to connect to relatives they could never meet. Focusing on her brother Kalman, Anna recounts tales of a mischievous boy who tried to escape the Warsaw ghetto with her.
Her daughter, an artist, devours the stories and paints his portrait over and over again. As Kalman's face emerges on canvas, the film travels back and forth in time from archival Warsaw ghetto footage to summers in a Catskills bungalow colony; from vibrant family life before World War II to now.
Four generations grapple differently with their shared history. In spite of parental attempts to shield their children from the horrors, Roz, the artist grew up very close to her motherâ€™s pain, understanding it in stages. Maya, an Israeli-born granddaughter expresses her lifeâ€™s passion playing the viola. Performing with Arab and Israeli youth in Daniel Barenboimâ€™s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, she questions why there has to be war when she sees the natural ease of making music with someone defined as her enemy. Maya performs the original music composed for the film. Eleven year-old great-grandson Roy wonders with concern how the members of his generation will understand the Holocaust when it seems like just another story. Anna, the survivor lives with her pain, but is committed to having a good time, too.
As the loving family that grew from two survivors creates art and music and celebrates together, the film shows how four generations find light even in the darkest of placesâ€”with a resiliency that moves us to do the same.
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