Finding Kalman: The Movie

Synopsis: Anna Jacobs, a charismatic Holocaust survivor inspires her family to connect to relatives they never met. Anna recounts tales of her younger brother Kalman, a mischievous boy who tried to escape the Warsaw ghetto with her.

Her daughter, an artist, devours the stories and paints his portrait over and over again. As Kalman’s face emerges on canvas, the film moves from archival Warsaw ghetto footage to summers in a Catskills bungalow colony—from vibrant family life before World War II to now.

Four generations grapple differently with their shared history. Roz, the artist, felt her mother’s pain, understanding it in stages. Maya, an Israeli granddaughter, expresses her passion playing the viola. Performing in an Arab-Israeli youth orchestra, she questions why there has to be war when she sees the ease of making music with someone defined as her enemy. Great-grandson Roy wonders with concern how his generation will understand the Holocaust when it seems like just another story.

As the loving family that grew from one survivor celebrates together, the film shows how four generations find light even in the darkest of places—with a resiliency that provides hope for the future.

Purchase for University use: Please contact FILMAKER’S LIBRARY. (Use code FKW)

Purchase by Check: Mail to The Memory Project Productions, PO Box 20171, New York, NY 10014, marked “For Finding Kalman.”  Please include your mailing address.

Shared memories and art help a family reclaim the spirit of child lost in the Holocaust, reaffirming that no matter what happens in life there must always be room for joy.

 

CINE-Laurel-01

CINE Special Jury Award, 2012

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Finding Kalman: A Boy in Six Million (The Book)

by Roz Jacobs and Anna Huberman Jacobs

“I felt like my feet were burning,” Anna Huberman Jacobs says, describing the day in 1945 that she went back to her home in Poland. Anna had survived life in the Warsaw ghetto, imprisonment at a Nazi labor camp and near starvation in post-Liberation Poland. On returning home, Anna learned that she was the sole survivor of her family. It was the worst day of her life. For Anna, finding Kalman that day meant leaving Wloclawek with a photograph of her brother that a neighbor’s child had pulled from the garbage. It was the only remainder of her family’s personal belongings.

Years later, the image of Kalman captured the imagination of Anna’s daughter Roz, an artistic child who wanted to know every detail of the story that her mother was clearly not completely sharing with her.

Finding Kalman: A Boy In Six Million weaves Anna’s story of escape and survival with Roz’s desire to have a purposeful life, to answer destruction through the act of creating. Kalman’s voice, though silenced, remains loud in the lives of both mother and daughter in this story of memory, self-discovery and creation. The book is appropriate for grades 5 and up. It’s a beautiful mother-daughter dialogue about growing up and sharing a difficult past with love and optimism.

VIEW EXCERPTS OR PURCHASE A BOOK. $19.99 plus shipping.

All proceeds support The Memory Project Productions educational activities.