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Widely praised as the most authentic film ever made of Jewish life within the Holocaust, "Lodz Ghetto" combines secret diaries with clandestine images to depict life in the longest surviving concentration of Jews in Nazi Europe. The newly mastered dvd includes an interactive menu with photo gallery and bonus features. The is the story of the struggle by 250,000 Jews to endure a man-made hell on earth while maintaining the best of human life: love of family, culture, intellect and religion. The writings and images combine in a film which is at once a work of art and an answer into the most difficult questions surrounding the Holocaust: the collaboration of Nazi-appointed Jewish leaders, the production of munitions by Jewish slave laborers, the lack of resistance, the deception and self-deception that encouraged the Jews of Lodz to get on the the trains. The film was awarded the International Film Critics Prize and was chosen by the San Francisco Examiner and Library Journal for their best of the year lists. Lodz Ghetto is a microcosm of the destruction of European Jewry. Using the daily entries of diarists who left their words in hopes that humanity would learn what they had endured, and prevent such brutality and destruction in the future, Lodz Ghetto brings us into the daily lives of a unique community. The renowned author and actor, Jerzy Kosinski ("Reds") assumes the voice of Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, the most notorious Jew in modern history, exhorting his population to "come to your senses" and get on the trains. The script was fastidiously assembled from over 10,000 pages of writings left in the ghetto. It is mated with rare authentic film footage shot on the site of ghetto and fastidiously sequenced photos praised by the Los Angeles Times as "making the still move." "Lodz Ghetto loses the distance between the viewer and the victim and makes us witnesses. This astonishing film tells the story of the Holocaust in one place. It's a film with drama and intimacy. This isn't about death. It's the story of survival--of the human will, yearning to be free," wrote ABC TV television critic Joel Siegel. "Powerful. Darkly eloquent. Spoken Chamber music. Almost unbearable suspense," raved the NY Times. Lodz Ghetto was highly acclaimed in its 50-city theatrical run, and was featured as a Holocaust Remembrance Day special on PBS. The special making of supplement, "Sources and Survivors," was produced by HBO and directed by Mr. Adelson, in his own voice. The documentary has been translated into 8 languages and broadcast around the world. It was featured at the Sundance, London, Dallas, Valladolid and Yamagata international documentary film festivals. The film has two companion volumes, "Lodz Ghetto: Inside a Community Under Siege," (Viking), and "The Diary of Dawid Sierakowiak," Oxford. Both books are available on Amazon and combined provide one of the most widely utilized resources for the study of Jewish life within the Holocaust.
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Writer and actor Jerzy Kosinski ("Reds") was born in Lodz, Poland, and survived the war years as a fugitive on the run. His acclaimed novel, The Painted Bird," is often considered a fictionalization of his own experiences in a world suddenly turned hostile and violent. Struggling to overcome his own sense of deep grief and loss, Kosinski fought to mount a voice of authority in rendering the speeches of Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, the Nazi-appointed "Eldest of the Jews" who ruled the Lodz Ghetto with an iron hand. His notorious speech, "Give Me Your Children" marks the dramatic crisis in the ghetto's history as the population is exhorted and ordered to surrender all the children under the age of 10 to fullfill a German deportation quota. Kosinski committed suicide in 1991, four years after his work on the film was completed.Review:
"Lodz Ghetto loses the distance between the viewer and the victim and makes us witnesses. This astonishing film tells the story of the Holocaust in one place. It's a film with drama and intimacy. This isn't about death. It's the story of survival--of the human will, yearning to be free." --Joel Siegel, ABC TV
"Powerful. Darkly eloquent. Spoken Chamber music. Almost unbearable suspense." --The New York Times
"Stunning. Nothing can be more evocative. A poetic montage, relevant and universal. Extraordinary imagery. Gallows humor that seems nothing less than courageous in the heart of darkness." --Michael Sragow, San Francisco Examiner
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