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ABOUT THE FILM

The film will be structured as a series of vignettes that will reveal facets of Henny Simon's life and explore her memories of the Holocaust, her experiences in Hannover during and after the war, and her return visits in recent years. It will also touch in her life in America. Some vignettes will show what Hannover has done to remember and atone. Hannover's history connects to Henny's life and the future of Holocaust understanding and memory. It connects to Henny and Benny’s work in schools throughout Connecticut. We will explore how individuals and societies remember history and come to terms with painful past experiences.  Henny’s story will be our path to dealing with current issues. We intend for the film to raise awareness of the consequences of hatred and encourage viewers to recognize and act when hatred, bigotry, and racism arise.

 

Todd Gipstein, the film's writer, narrator, picture and music researcher, videographer, designer and editor, has spent his career, most of it with National Geographic, creating evocative and emotional documentary films. He likes to get away from long sequences of "talking heads" to layered interpretations of the emotions and thoughts being presented. He likes to mix scripted narration with interviews, a style that taps into the unique strengths of both. He wants the final film to be a "waking dream" — at times mysterious, at times disturbing, at times inspiring.

 

He wants to create a documentary that is unique in both content and style. That is different from the many fine films about the Holocaust. We will use minimal well-known Holocaust imagery. Instead, we will use more symbolic and evocative imagery whenever possible. We will use cinematic techniques and narrative structuring to create a film that is intellectually and emotionally interactive, a film that is poetic rather than didactic.  

 

Content will be drawn from interviews of Henny and Ben Cooper, along with interviews with friends, students to whom she spoke, with teachers, historians and museum curators in Connecticut, Germany, and elsewhere. 

" I want to make a film that transports viewers into a story that is at times a nightmare and at times a hopeful dream. "  
                             — Todd Gipstein,  Co-Director / Producer / Writer / Editor

Behind the Scenes Gallery

MAKING THE FILM

Co-Directors Jerry Fischer & Todd Gipstein talk about the film on "Stories Worth Telling" TV show hosted by Cate Steel

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