Jacob’s Journey is an interactive virtual reality documentary where the audience is invited to have a conversation with Jacob Goldstein, a Polish-Canadian Holocaust Survivor. The experience starts as a personal encounter, a conversation with a living witness, and takes you to a journey through his life, so you can explore the moments from his personal biography. And you can see how they are connected with the “Big History”.
As you step into the VR world, Jacob Goldstein, a Holocaust survivor, welcomes you. He invites you to ask him questions, and as you tap on a prompt, he begins to share his story. He takes you back to his childhood in the Łódź ghetto, describing how his family struggled to survive during Nazi Germany’s attack on Poland. Jacob shares his traumatic experience at Auschwitz, including the loss of his mother and siblings to the gas chambers. He also recounts his encounter with Josef Mengele, the notorious Nazi “doctor” who conducted cruel experiments on prisoners.
Virtual reality provides a powerful platform to educate people about the events of the Holocaust, making the experience more real and impactful. You’ll witness Jacob’s journey in an immersive way, surrounded by towering buildings before being transported to a crowded march of prisoners. Through the use of different scales, you’ll get a complete understanding of the geography of events, shifting from a bird’s eye view to a table-top scale to see the armies, camps, and railway systems involved. The memory of this dark chapter in history is fading, and Jacob’s Journey aims to keep it alive, educating and informing future generations.
About the Director
Dr. Joanne Popinska is a Polish-Canadian award-winning XR filmmaker, documentarian, and sociologist, with a Ph.D. in Film Directing (specialization: VR) from the Polish National Film School in Łódź. Her debut VR film, THE CHOICE, premiered to acclaim at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) and SXSW, where it won the Audience Award. She dedicates her creative vision to developing meaningful conversations around complex topics such as human rights, animal rights, and the environment. By using the latest technology and various narrative techniques, she is continually exploring how to get audiences’ attention and evoke empathy and interest from different perspectives.
Joanne Popinska and Tom C. Hall
Elizabeth Markevitch and Ezra Chowaiki