Throughout the fall of 2016 and spring of 2017, filmmaker Oren Rudavsky filmed a group of Holocaust survivors and high school students involved in Witness Theater, a drama therapy workshop which culminates in the performance of a play based on survivor stories.
The film that has emerged uses a mix of cinema verite, archival footage, interviews, animation and staged recreations of stories to blend past and present. The result is a remarkable story that, told in the present, imparts profound insights about the effect of the past multiple generations of Jews.
As the last generation of Holocaust survivors lives out their final years, the number of individuals who are physically and mentally able to “bear witness” dwindles. Mr. Rudavsky’s film is a powerful tool for preserving their stories, ensuring they can be shared with younger generations long after the chance to hear those stories in person has passed.
The 80 minute cut of We are the Storytellers (working title) that will be presented is a rough cut of the as yet unfinished film. It provides the audience an opportunity to share comments to be integrated into the final product. Rudavsky will share the experience of producing the film and encourage critiques which will help in the completion process.
Oren Rudavsky is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts. Rudavsky is producing a PBS American Masters documentary on media mogul Joseph Pulitzer. He recently completed two films “The Ruins of Lifta”,and “Colliding Dreams”, a history of Zionism. Broadcast last year on PBS was “Time for School”. Rudavsky’s other work includes writing and producing segments for the ABC national series “PrimeTime Live”, the PBS series “Media Matters, Religion and Ethics Newsweekly” and other national programming.