Lodz Film

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Adelson, Alan and Kathryn Taverna. Lodz Ghetto. New York: Jewish Heritage Project, Inc., 1989.
LC Call No.: CGC 0636-0641 (ref print)

Produced by Alan Adelson and directed by Kathryn Taverna; script compiled and edited by Alan Adelson. Jewish Heritage Project, Inc., 150 Franklin St., #1W, New York, NY 10003, USA; 212-925-9067.
Description of motion picture: 12 reels of 12 on 6 (ca. 9270 ft.) : sd., black & white and color; 35 mm. ref print.
Notes: Preexisting material: various textual materials; archival film footage; still photos. NM: compilation, editing, narration, score, and some new footage. Executive producer, Stephen Samuels; original score by Wendy Blackstone; still photo cinematography, Gary Becker and Kathryn Taverna; cinematography, Jozef Piwkowski, Eugene Squires; film edited by Kathryn Taverna; ghetto photographers, Mendel Grossman, Henryk Ross; original color pictures of the ghetto provided by Erhard Löcker, Löcker Verlag, Vienna; contemporary photos of ghetto district by Eva Rubinstein; music editor, Kathryn Taverna; chief historical consultant, Lucjan Dobroszycki. Voices: Jerzy Kosinski, Nicholas Kepros, Barbara Rosenblat, David Warrilow, Gregory Gordon, Alan Adelson, Theodore Bikel. Release date from New York times film reviews,    3/22/89. Chronicles the Nazi persecution of the Jews of Lodz from German occupation beginning on September 8, 1939 to liberation by the Russians on January 17, 1945. Focuses on the forcible move of Jews into the ghetto, the harsh conditions within, deportation to Auschwitz, and the survival of the few Jews who remained behind and hid in the ghetto. Depicts the ghetto's Nazi-appointed Jewish leader, Mordecai Hayim Rumkowski. Utilizes historical film footage and still photographs, some contemporary footage, and narration from historical diaries and monographs. Much of the historical material was made at great risk and left deliberately by the doomed community members. From diaries and monographs written in the Lodz ghetto by Oskar Rosenfeld, Oskar Singer, David Sierakowiak, Jozef Klementynowski, Irene Liebman and others and from The Chronicle of the Lodz ghetto, edited by Lucjan Dobroszycki.
Bodek, Andrej, Dariusz Jablonski and Arnold Mostowicz. Photographer. Los Angeles: Seventh Art Releasing, 1998.
Produced and directed by Dariusz Jablonski; written by Andrej Bodek, Dariusz Jablonski and Arnold Mostowicz; in Polish, German and Yiddish, with English subtitles; director of photography, Tomasz Michalowski; edited by Milenia Fiedler; music by Michal Lomc. Running time, 80 minutes. Not rated. With Arnold Mostowicz.
Notes: This documentary is based on 400 Agfa color slides of the Lodz ghetto by Austrian born Nazi Walter Genewein, chief accountant and top Nazi administrator of the ghetto. After Genewein's death, the slides were sold to a used bookstore, where they were recovered in 1987. They are now part of the collection of the Jewish Museum in Frankfort, Germany. The film, which won the Prix Europa 1998, uses Genewein's notes to mark the disparity between what Genewein observed and what the pictures reveal.
Seventh Art Releasing, 7551 Sunset Blvd., Suite 104, Los Angeles, CA 90046. (323) 845-1455 tel. (323) 845-4717 fax, E-mail: seventhart@earthlink.net
Cohen, Peter. The Story of Chaim Rumkowski and the Jews of Lodz (motion picture and videorecording). New York: The Cinema Guild, 1983.
LC Call No.: DS135.P62
POJ Filmproduction AB and Swedish Television; producer, director, Peter Cohen; writer, Bo Kuritzen.
Description: 1 videocassette (VHS) (55 min.) : sd., b&w. ; 1/2 in.
Notes:  Intended audience: Ages 12 through adult. Shows the efforts of German-appointed leader Chaim Rumkowski to save the Jewish community during the Nazi occupation of Lodz, Poland, in World War II. Documents Rumkowski's establishment of an entire society, including schools, industries, and a postal system. Relates intimate details of life in the last surviving Jewish ghetto in Poland.

Godard, Yossi. The King and the Jester: a Soul Song to Ghetto Lodz. Israel Broadcast Authority, 1999.

Description: Cast: Yisrael Damidov, Leonid Kanyevski, Didi Manosi
Production Company: Israel Broadcast Authority
Producer: Yossi Godard
Music: Avi Binyamin
Design and animation: Elad Dan
in Hebrew; Length: 50 minutes; in color
Notes: The history of the Lodz Ghetto is a controversial one, some see it as a horrifying case of collaboration with the Nazis, others as a brave effort to survive the Holocaust. In an attempt to understand the story of the ghetto, the film presents the story of two individuals on opposing sides. Chaim Rumkowski is the King, or rather head of the Jewish council, and a street singer named Yankele is the Jester. Yankele’s satirical and often humorous protest songs were recorded in the chronicles of the ghetto which were hidden in a well and discovered after the war. A unique film composed of a revolutionary combination of archival footage and photographs and footage of Lodz, and designed entirely with computer graphics and animation. ARCHIVE MATERIAL, L-4630 VHS-PAL HEB, L-4767 VHS-PAL HEB
See: Israel Film Archive - Jerusalem Cinematheque, http://www.jer-cin.org.il/defaulte.htm

Hamermesh, Mira. Loving the Dead. Poland, 1991. Documentary film.

Description: Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Mira Hamermesh records her personal voyage around Poland to rediscover her past and on the way examines how present-day Poles remember the Jews and how they are affected by the artifacts they have left behind. For years, she avoided confronting her early years in the Lodz ghetto. The film takes us into her world of memories, showing us her nightmares and the little details of ghetto life that she still finds present in the remains of the ghetto. Later in the film, she visits Auschwitz, where her father was sent. Loving the Dead has a second side to it though. It looks at the slow but snowballing interest in Poland's Jewish past. Some of this is an interest in the secular Jewish culture; other interest is directed at the religion. Although, they are all coming to terms with loving the dead, Hamermesh herself is concerned with two very specific dead people, whereas the others are exploring a culture, a religion and a way of life which died in Poland.

Mamele (Little Mother), Poland, 1938.

Directors: Joseph Green and Konrad Tom
Music: Abraham Ellstein, Ivo Wesby
Cast: Molly Picon, Edmund Zayenda, Max Bozyk, Gerturde Bullman, Simche Fostel, Ola Shlifko, Menashe Oppenheim, Karol Latowicz, Max Perelman, Ruth Turkow, Lew Szryftzecer, Max Bryn
Description: 100 minutes B&W Yiddish with new additional English subtitles
Notes: Mamele is a musical comedy that embraces the entire gamut of interwar Jewish life in Lodz in all its diversity, with tenements and unemployed Jews, nightclubs and gangsters, and religious Jews celebrating Succoth. But the film belongs to Molly Picon who romps undaunted through her dutiful daughter role, saving siblings, keeping the family intact, singing and acting her way through the stages of a woman's life from childhood to old age. Picon stars as Khavtshi, a young woman who promises her dying mother that she will take care of her family. She's so busy cooking, cleaning and matchmaking for her brothers and sisters that she barely has any time for herself, until she discovers the violinist across the courtyard! The musical score also includes Picon's trademark theme song, "Abi Gezunt."
Podemski, Esther. House of the World. New York: First Run/Icarus Films, 1999
Description: videcassette (54 min.): color
Notes: Tracing the history of an old family photograph, the filmmaker, Esther Podemski, travels to Poland with a group of her parents' contemporaries. Fifty years after surviving the Holocaust, the elders return to their hometown, Poddebice, to conduct a memorial service in the Jewish graveyard. They find an empty field, marked by a lone tablet, the only testament to the history of this place to survive the wartime desecration. In the nearby city of Lodz, we meet Layb Pradskier, custodian of the immense, crumbling Jewish cemetery. Here we discover that all that remains of the once several hundred thousand strong Jewish population of Lodz is a handful of aging Holocaust survivors. A montage of historical images, snapshots, and archival music, together with new location footage, House of the World moves between personal accounts of Jewish Poland and historic events.
First Run/Icarus Films,153 Waverly Place, New York, NY 10014
Phone: (212) 727-1711 Fax: (212) 989-7649
E-Mail: info@frif.com, Internet: http://www.frif.com/new99/housewor.html

Public Broadcasting Service. Zamir: Jewish Voices Return to Poland. 2000 

Producer: Zamir Film Project in association with WGBH Boston. Producer: Eric Stange. Format: CC STEREO

Description: In 1899, in the city of Lodz, Poland, a Jewish choral ensemble was formed. For four decades, HaZamir flourished until the Holocaust nearly silenced it forever. One hundred years later, in the summer of 1999, the spirit of HaZamir was rekindled when the 42-member Zamir (Hebrew for "nightingale") Chorale of Boston made a commemorative tour of Eastern Europe to perform in the very places where the HaZamir movement began. Zamir: Jewish Voices Return to Poland is a documentary of this compelling journey and the choir’s attempt to restore the spirit of HaZamir. Viewers follow the group of American Jews on a musical and personal pilgrimage through Warsaw, Lodz, Krakow, Prague and Vienna, as well as Auschwitz and Terezin, sharing moments of joy, sadness and discovery. Full-length performances by the choir, taped in old-world churches, Jewish cemeteries and town halls, merge with travelogue, interview and archival footage to chronicle this modern-day journey, as well as the journey of HaZamir. What gives the music and film poignancy is the evocative archival footage and photos that bring to life the streets, parks and concert halls that once rang with Jewish music, while interviews with survivors recall the remarkable cultural history of which the HaZamir movement was an integral part. For both Jews and non-Jews, the program’s powerful mix of interviews, music and spiritual voyaging provides an eye-opening account of Jewish life then and now. Presented in three acts, Zamir Chorale’s story is told by the founder and artistic director, Joshua Jacobson, and through the first-person testimonies of chorale members. The first act, "Going Back," transports viewers back to a time when "the streets of Lodz rang out with the sound of Jewish voices raised in song." The section begins with "Hava Nagila," joyfully and spontaneously sung in the courtyard of the building where the original HaZamir Chorale rehearsed 60 years ago. Woven throughout this segment are testimonies from survivors who sang with the Lodz HaZamir in the 1930s, and archival footage and photos that vividly bring the period to life. In "Facing the Holocaust," the singers confront head-on the legacy of the Holocaust in services held by the chorale at Auschwitz and Birkenau, and demonstrate the resilience of the human spirit and the transforming power of music. This second act includes the harrowing story of "Tsen Brider," a choral piece composed in the camps and one of the most evocative pieces of music to come out of the Holocaust. The final act, "Sharing Our Spirit," captures the sense of camaraderie shared among the members of the chorale and their audiences. Public Broadcasting Service, Inc.

Ravett, Abraham. Everything’s For You. USA, 1989, 58 minutes, color/B&W (16mm/video)
Yiddish and English

Filmmaker Abraham Ravett attempts to reconcile issues in his life as the child of a Holocaust survivor in this experimental non-narrative film. Ravett reflects upon his relationships with his family, from his now-deceased father (who survived both the Lodz Ghetto and Auschwitz) to his own young children. He utilizes family photographs and footage, archival footage from the Ghetto Fighters’ House in Israel, cel animation by Emily Hubley, and computer graphics, to create a film about memory, death, and what critic Bruce Jenkins calls “the power of the photographic image and sound to resurrect the past.”

Ravett, Abraham. In Memory. USA, 1993, 13 minutes, B&W (16mm/video) 

In this non-narrative short, footage of life from the Lodz Ghetto is juxtaposed against the chanting of “Kel Maleh Rachamim,” a plea to G-d to let the souls of those “slaughtered and burned” find peace. Images include winter street scenes, women drawing water from a well, men breaking up ice, a Nazi roundup and a mass hanging. The message of this tribute to members of Ravett’s family (and to all those who perished under Nazi occupation) is “may their memory endure.”

Wajda, Andrzej. Ziemia Obiecana (The Promised Land). Poland, 1975.

Director: Anrzej Wajda
Description:  176 mins; color; Polish, English subtitles.
Cast: Daniel Olbrychski, Andrzej Seweryn, Wojciech Pszoniak.
Notes: Academy Award Nomination Best Foreign Film 1976. An exceptional film by a famous director. It depicts the industrial development in 19th century Lodz and the combined influences of the Germans, Russians and Jews. Three industrialists representing different ethnic groups in Poland, a Pole (Olbrychski), a German (Seweryn) and a Jew (Pszoniak), build a textile factory in Lodz at the turn of the century. They encounter problems with the overworked, underpaid workers. Saga based on a novel by Nobel Prize winner Wladyslaw Reymont, vividly depicts a society on the edge of change.
Waletzky, Josh and Susan Lazarus. Image Before My Eyes. New York: Almi Home Video, 1985. in cooperation with YIVO Institute for Jewish Research; producers: Josh Waletzky, Susan Lazarus; director, Josh Waletzky
LC Call No.:  DS135.P6 (videorecording)
Description: 1 videocassette (90 min.): sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
Notes: Made in 1980. Ages 15 through adult. Presents a photographic history of Jewish life in Poland in the 1920s and 1930s. Includes historic footage and stills and voice-over recollections as visuals document Polish Jews' patriotism in World War I, the postwar surge in anti-Semitism, the vitality of the Yiddish theater, the political activism of Jewish youth in the 1930s, the disastrous determination of most of Poland's Jews to weather the Nazi storm, and Germany's invasion in 1939.

The Eternal Jew. Nazi propaganda film, 1940.

Summary: A visit to the Lodz ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland, recorded by German cameramen, with the nšive cooperation of the Jewish community, is combined with rare archival footage, clips from international newsreels, and excerpts from related cultural films to portray the World's Jews as swindlers and parasites. This pseudo-logical, uncomfortably realistic, and genuinely frightening documentary interprets Jewish life and history from the viewpoint of traditional European anti-Semitism and Nazi ideology. 062 Min. VIDEO 1940

*Most library locations were obtained by searching Worldcat (in May 1999), which contains records of any type of material cataloged by OCLC member libraries.

 

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