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Righteous Women: Documentaries about Jewish Heroines

posted by Nell Minow

George Heymont has an excellent column in the Huffington Post about three new tributes to real-life Jewish heroines, all shown at the recent San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. “Ahead of Time” is the story of Ruth Gruber. The first journalist to enter the Soviet Arctic in 1935, Ruth also traveled to Alaska as a member of the Roosevelt administration in 1942, escorted Holocaust refugees to America in 1944, covered the Nuremberg trials in 1946 and documented the Haganah ship Exodus in 1947. Her relationships with world leaders including Eleanor Roosevelt, President Harry Truman, and David Ben Gurion gave her unique access and insight into the modern history of the Jewish people.

Heymont calls Ingelore “a deeply moving” story of a deaf-mute Holocaust survivor, from the subject’s film-maker son.

Surviving Hitler: A Love Story sounds like a movie, but it really happened. A Jewish teenager and an injured soldier join a doomed plot to kill Hitler (the one portrayed in the Tom Cruise movie, “Valkyrie”). Heymont says,

What makes [John Keith] Wasson’s documentary so touching is that Helmuth was an amateur filmmaker whose 8-mm home movies (including footage from the German home front) survived Germany’s destruction under Hitler’s rule. Whether shooting footage of Jutta in a bathing suit, sipping coffee, or reading a book, his 8-mm films glow with the strength and optimism of young people in love.



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