The Peretzniks' Polish premiere screenings
took place in Lodz on August 29, 2009, at the Nowy Theater, during the
65th Anniversary of the Liquidation of the Litzmannstadt Ghetto
and in Warsaw on September 2 at The Jewish Theater during the 6th
Festival of Jewish Culture "Singer's Warsaw."
The film tells the story of a Jewish
school in Lodz, Poland. The school was closed down following the
Communist anti-Semitic campaign, which took place in Poland in 1968. As
a result of this, the Peretz School graduates are dispersed today
between the US, Israel, Sweden, Poland, and other countries. The
bittersweet memories of their youth in post-war Poland is what binds the
Peretzniks together till this day.
The events of March '68 are still somewhat
obscure in Poland. The political background is known, as are the film
archives, and press coverage. However, little is known about how it was
to grow up in Poland of the sixties as a Polish Jew, or as a Pole of
Jewish origin. How it was to be a kid in the heart of a country still
recovering from a horrific war, in a family severed by the Holocaust,
and then to come of age and experience first loves at the outbreak of
the disturbing March events. The experience of the 'Peretz School'
pupils in Lodz in some way reflects the experience of the Jewish
minority in Poland in the 50s and 60s of the previous century. It is the
experience of adolescents nevertheless, who were much more interested in
the Beatles than they were in politics. It was the latter, however,
which caused for most of them to scatter all over the world, creating a
peculiar phenomenon of a Polish-Jewish Diaspora integrated today in so
many countries' identities.
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