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April 03, 1997 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-04-03

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16B The Michigan Daily Weekend Magazine

Thursday, April 3, 1997



..._.._ ...r, _ ... '

I0- Film Preview
First Holocaust film to be
shown tonight at Nat. Sci.

By Laura Flyer
For the Daily
University students will be blessed with yet
another film during Hillel's 18th Annual
"Conference on the Holocaust" (March 24-April
4) tonight. Directed by notable Jewish filmmakers
of the time, Herbert Fredersdof and Marek
Goldstein, "Long is the
Road" marked the first
dramatization to depict
the Holocaust from a I IS 81
Jewish perspective. -
The film, released in InT O w j
1949, was shot at the
largest Jewish displaced-
persons camp in Bavaria, C ta to
known as Camp
Landsberg. Israel Becker, - I
screenwriter and lead Film and EnE
actor in the film, portrays
a Polist Jew and his dras-
tic transition in life - from prosperity in a thriv-
ing Jewish community in Warsaw to the horrors of
the Holocaust.
Despite the hardships the Polish Jew and his
family must endure, the second half of the film is
idealistically optimistic, as the family plans a
future of peace and security in the Holy Land of


Becker, who founded the first professional
Yiddish theater company in Germany, could easi-
ly relate to David Yelin (the character he repre-
In fact, one particular scene in the film was
based on Becker's own experience. Anxious to flee
from Russia, Becker boarded a train only to dis-
cover Nazi soldiers seeking
Jews. He jumped from the
speeding train just as it was
I iirounding a corner. Becker, at
79, recalled his memory of
ople acting that particular
"When it came time to
prepare the scene, I knew
exactly how it should look,
a Konigsberg that it's best to wait until the
fish professor train goes around the curve
_ _ _ _ and slows down a bit. Then
is the time to jump."
The Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, the
Hillel Foundation and the Program in Film and
Video Studies are sponsoring the film, which has
been newly restored in Yiddish, German and
Polish with English subtitles.
Ira Konigsberg, University film and English
professor, stressed the significance and influence
of "Long is the Road."

A scene from "Long is the Road," the first feature film on the Holocaust.

"It is a very unique, powerful and important
insight into how people respond to this catastro-
Only a few films were
made immediately following PI
the Holocaust, and after ayLo
period of a few years, there f
was what Konigsberg calls
"sudden silence." N
As a result, "Long is the
Road" was locked away and
forgotten for several decades until 1990, when The
National Center for Jewish Film at Brandeis
University restored and distributed it.

A panel discussion will follow the movie, fea-
turing Isaac Norich, survivor of two concentra-

g is the Road
Today, 7 p.m.
tural Science Auditorium
until he was finally

tion camps and adminis-
trator of one of Europe's
last displaced persons
camps in Europe. Born in
Poland during the first
World War, he survived
the ghetto in Lodz and the
concentration camps of
Auschwitz and Dachau
liberated. Norich then spent

the next 11 years in displaced persons camps in

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