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“We Are Still Here,” A Documentary Film by Evan Kleinman


It’s no secret that I have a special interest in how members of the so-called “third generation” have responded to their family Holocaust histories. And that interest motivated me to attend an event here in New York City last week: a screening of Evan Kleinman’s documentary, “We Are Still Here.” Held at the Museum of Tolerance (which I was visiting for the first time), the screening was co-sponsored by the Museum and The Blue Card Fund‘s Young Leadership Division.

The film introduces us to Evan’s family, including his Polish-born paternal grandparents. It documents a journey to Poland undertaken by Evan, his parents, and his sister. The audience at our screening was especially privileged to have all of these Kleinmans (and others!) in attendance last week.

I was reminded, yet again, that every time you may think you’ve heard all of the “Holocaust stories” there are to tell, you’re proven wrong. And there’s something truly remarkable when it’s those who “are still here” who do the storytelling.

The next screening of “We Are Still Here” will take place in Boston on August 23rd. If you have the opportunity to attend, seize it.

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11 Responses »

  1. I hope Evan Kleinman will consider submitting this film to the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (http://www.yidff.jp/) here in Japan. Submissions for the 2013 festival open September 1 2012. (http://www.yidff.jp/2013/2013-e.html#entry).

    • Let’s hope so! Thanks for the info, Clive.

    • Thank you Clive for the suggestion. I am the filmmaker of “We are still here” and I am familiar with the Yamagata festival. I will be sure to submit when submissions open in September. I take it you are involved with the festival?

      • Hi Evan, No I’m not involved with the festival. My wife is from Yamagata City and we are both film fans. If the film is shown at the festival and you come through Tokyo, which is where we live, please get in touch. We’ll do all we can to help you.

  2. You are absolutely right when you say we may think we’ve heard it all, but we haven’t. In fact, the last line of my book – a true story of a Survivor – expresses a very similar sentiment. (“Bury The Hot” is the heartbreaking account of a young boy who evaded murder, and the brutally honest reflections of the man he became after a lifetime spent escaping the memories.) It’s unique – as all of these firsthand accounts truly are – in that explores equally a traumatized childhood and how the repression of it impacts a marriage. Agents have reacted positively to the story and the writing, but ultimately pass because they feel they can’t sell “yet another Holocaust account.” I know it’s a story that needs to be told, and am embarking on a journey of self-publishing. It’s comforting to know there are people out there who believe we can never (and should never) stop learning about this horrible chapter in our collective history. Your blog is a wonderful resource – thank you.

    • Thanks, Deb, and good luck with your book. (My then-agent and I encountered similar responses from publishers when it came to my [still=unpublished] novel.)

  3. “Every time you may think you’ve heard all of the “Holocaust stories” there are to tell, you’re proven wrong.”

    This is so very true. Admittedly, I haven’t heard many yet myself but I have been interested in hearing more after taking a Literature of the Holocaust class last spring. (I actually found your blog after reading “Ever After? History, Healing, And ‘Holocaust Fiction'” for that same class.) I find the third generation especially intriguing. Maybe because I am of the same age group and I can’t help but consider how my own life/history would be different if it included an Holocaust legacy? I don’t know. I do know that ever since that class I have felt compelled to continue my research and have even considered altering my plans for graduate school to include further study. In any event, I will be adding this film to my list of resources. I can only hope that there may be a screening in South Florida some day.

    I’m not sure why I felt it necessary to tell you all of that, since I typically read without commenting. Thanks for the great information!

  4. thanks for pointing this out. I’d love to get a copy of the film and watch it with my 87 year old survivor Mom.

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