A Survivor’s Tale

A Survivor’s Tale


Film
A Survivor’s Tale
Sat, Mar 14, 3:30pm
Jewish Cultural and Community
Center of San Miguel de Allende
Las Moras 47

By Mark Krakowski

Mark Krakowski is a proud Canadian hailing from Toronto. He’s been coming to San Miguel de Allende for three of the last four years, usually around mid-February to mid-March. This year he almost had to cancel his trip for health reasons, but happily he is here again!

Krakowski has recently completed a documentary film entitled A Survivor’s Tale: The Heroic Story of Leon and Esther Krakowski. Mark came from a family of Polish-Jewish Holocaust survivors, and this film is about their survival during their flight from Lodz, Poland, in late 1939 to Russia, where they remained until the end of the war.

After seeing this dramatic story in film, friends suggested Mark screen his film here in San Miguel at the JC3. Krakowski’s purpose in making the film is many faceted. It’s an homage to his parents and their struggles and sacrifices while surviving the Holocaust. It is also an educational tool that is available for use in schools, libraries, and community centers. Additionally, it would be an effective tool for organizations that promote holocaust education and advocate against antisemitism, racism, and discrimination, and agencies that support refugees and recent immigrants.

Having had no experience in producing a documentary film, Krakowski engaged two film makers, Dylan and Matt Shoychet, based in Toronto, who had already produced several Holocaust-themed documentary films, including the highly regarded The Accountant of Auschwitz, as well as a biography of Nuremburg Trials prosecutor Ben Ferenz, who recently turned 100 years of age. They continue to make educational Holocaust-themed projects working with Holocaust education organizations.

The original concept of the film was that most of it would be based on a five to six-hour videotape interview with Mark’s mother, made a few years before she died in July 2007. He asked the questions in English and she replied in Yiddish. Mark translated the Yiddish text for the filmmakers, and they incorporated portions of the video interview in appropriate segments of the film, but this is by no means the bulk of the film. Krakowski was also interviewed for the film, and the filmmakers, with their cameras, recorded areas of Toronto, such as the Junction area in west Toronto, where the Jewish Immigrant Aid Service found an apartment for the Krakowski family and for many other immigrant families.

A Survivor’s Tale screens on Saturday, March 14, at 3:30pm, at the JC3, Las Moras 47 at the corner of 5 de Mayo. After the screening, there will be a question and answer discussion period.