Monday, September 05, 2005

'Hiding and Seeking' - an immensely moving and honest film

I have just finished watching Menachem Daum's latest documentary, Hiding and Seeking, which was screened here on PBS. It is an immensely moving film, which shows NY filmaker Menachem Daum taking his wife and two yeshivish sons to Poland to seek out the family who saved his father-in-law and his two brothers during the war. They find the farm and the people who hid them for over two years. The impetus to make the film came from Menachem Daum's unease that his sons were unappreciative of the efforts made by some Poles to help Jews. It is a beautiful and moving film.

He does not flinch at all from dealing with the very difficult issue which emerges during the film - which is that once they had got out of Poland after the war, no member of the family ever contacted the family who saved them. (There are no excuses). The online discussion of the film at the pbs site is also revealing - encouraging, but also very bitter in places.

I would also like to commend the pbs website (see link) which is highly informative and interesting on the background and making of the film, including updates and a very recent reflection from the filmaker. It's too long to post here, but please click on the link. Apropos of the latter - the very attitudes that prompted Menachem Daum to make the film in the first place lead me to wonder how many students at Jewish schools would make a gesture parallel to that of the high school students described in his posting.

An exceptional film. DVD's can be ordered from here.

  • Also highly recommended is the earlier (1997) Daum/Rudavsky film - A Life Apart: Hasidim in America

1 comment:

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