THE JEWISH 411
THE PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL BY PAM PRICE
“Who Will Write Our History”
he 30th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) opened an innovative section for Jewish cinema with the inauguration of New Jewish Stories, which Michael Lerman, the festival’s creative director refers to as “contemporary Jewish cinema at its finest.” Ten films were added to this year’s festival because of this new category, a wise decision as it catapulted a remarkable documentary, “Who Will Write Our History” into the limelight. The 90-minute documentary, directed by Roberta Grossman, revealed secret eyewitness accounts of life in Poland’s notorious Warsaw Ghetto during WWII where 450,000 Jews were sealed into an area of 1.3 square miles between 1941 and May, 1943.
The documentary had such an impact during its initial screenings it was included in a third screening at the Best of the Fest, a traditional all-day screening event where 26 out of more than 200 films representing jury award winners and others “that have been popular with audiences” are selected for rescreening. This documentary reveals eyewitness accounts of the Warsaw Ghetto under the Nazi occupation candidly captured in films, photographs and documents prior to its destruction in 1943. Collectively, this is the only surviving evidence of the Nazi’s horrendous inhumane conditions. The collection, a statement of literary resistance was called Oyneg Shabas. It was preserved and archived in a secret location before the Warsaw Ghetto was demolished. Emanuel Ringelblum, an historian,
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