06/23/14

“I Remember Them Now” by Laurence Salzmann

Blue Flower Press: In the late 1930′s, there were eight thousand Jews in Rădăuți, a small town in the Bukovina region of Romania. During 1974-76, when the photographer/filmmaker Laurence Salzmann went to Rădăuți on a Fulbright Fellowship, there were only two hundred and forty Jews among the entire population of twenty-two thousand.

“I Remember them Now” is a short film made from newly rediscovered, kodachromes and audio from the Salzmanns’ original time in Rădăuți.

04/3/14

A Shtetl in the Caribbean

Read more and contribute to the realization of the project at:
http://www.cinecrowd.nl/een-sjtetl-de-cariben?language=en

Mark Wiznitzer: “Language and culture are so intertwined. My father left Vascauti (Vashkivtsi, Vashkowitz) 40 km from Czernovitz in Bukovina in 1927.He attended cheder and did not have the opportunity to complete his education because he left Romania with his older brothers while in his mid-teens. But he eventually learned to do business in 7 languages, including Japanese. But Yiddish was his first language, in which he wrote to his brothers using Hebrew letters. My maternal grandmother, having finished gymnasium in Dresden where my mother was born, and her Polish-born university-educated husband, spoke German. But their other European languages came in handy as they had their other children in France and Belgium, and settled first in Colombia, and ultimately in Curaçao. To assimilate, my grandfather added “Montevenado” to his name, a Spanish translation of his surname. And so the name on his gravestone in the ancient Jewish cemetery Beit Haim Blenheim reads “Max Hirschberg Montevenado”. My mother, having received a Dutch education in Curaçao was fluent in several languages. But she did not learn Yiddish until she and my father made it through WWII in Japan, where they lived with my father’s cousin from Czernovitz and socialized with other Jews from Eastern Europe, as well as Iraq and Syria. When my parents returned to Curaçao in 1946, Yiddish came in handy as the language of the growing Ashkenazi community, which had reached a sufficient critical mass to resemble a “Shtetl”. In Curaçao we Ashkenzi Jews were callled “Polacos” because the first to arrive came from Polish Galicia, ironically from Snyatin, immediately across the Cheremosh river from, and the nearest town to, my father’s birthplace. My childhood classmate, Sherman de Jesus, lived near our community’s Shaarei Tsedek synagogue and social Club Union. He was fascinated by our community early on. A successful documentary producer and director, he is now completing a film project on the Shtetl in the Caribbean. At the link above, there is a clip of some scenes shot so far in Bukovina, Belarus and Israel.”

03/25/14

More on Movie “In Sarmatien”

From Gabriele Weissmann

Dear all,
Last week Volker Koepp invited us to the Berlin premiere of his new
movie “In Sarmatien” which took place in the Akademie der Künste. We
were very impressed. It is a superb documentary.
The many facets of the film are overwhelming. Its humane approach, its
references to history, to the past of peoples and the ensuing destinies,
should be a must-see for the contemporary generation and the educational
system world-wide.

It so happened that the premiere fell on a day when the events in Crimea
and the Ukraine were hot and moving fast.In the film,
Koepp interviews persons from Moldavia(Kisinau)Bielorus (Grodno)
Ukraine (Czernowitz),Lithuania, Kaliningrad (Königsberg) : and
everywhere the persons talk about their dreams for a better life, the
economical and political problems of the present situation,
and some, of their fears of a Russian takeover.

Considering the current events in Eastern Europe,this film is amazing.

In the trailer shown on today’s List, next to Tanja Kloubert,we see and
hear Felix Zuckermann, the son of Frau Zuckermann from the former movie.

weissman

In the photo (click to enlarge), you will see Volker Koepp first on the left, my
husband and myself, and on my right,Fritz Hartthaler, the producer of
many Koepp documentaries, which are acclaimed all over the world.)

Not in the picture is Thomas Plennert, the outstanding cameraman, who
contributed to Koepp’s films for many many years. His masterly hand
at rendering landscapes as breathtakingly live paintings, and showing
people’s faces in their truthful, natural expression enriched Koepp’s
movies to make them cineastic works of art.

Koepp has a very personal way of asking and getting answers, of looking
intensely for people and places, thus painting a very complex picture of
his documentaries. Koepp genuinely likes people and their stories,
is interested in them, and he gets a most rewarding feed-back.

Have just heard today that the DVD will be on sale as from September
2014 (www.salzgeber.de/info@salzgeber.de).

Ten years ago, on the occasion of my husband’s 60th birthday party,
my husband finished his speech with this message:

” – We try to find answers to the questions of the present: All of us!
- We try to decipher the mysteries the future holds in store for us: All
of us!
- Only occasionally we remember that we are made of the dough of the
past. All of us!

Gabriele