As today’s Polish government threatens to imprison anyone who blames Poland for the Holocaust, “Among Neighbors” examines Jewish-Polish relations through the story of a single small town where Jews and Polish-Catholics lived side by side for centuries.
Among Neighbors combines revelatory interviews with evocative animation, the film zeroes in on the last living Holocaust survivor from the town, and an aging eyewitness who saw Jews murdered—not by Nazis, but by her own Polish neighbors.
About the Director
Yoav Potash is an award-winning writer, director, and producer. He produced and directed the Sundance premiere documentary “Crime After Crime,” a New York Times Critics’ Pick and winner of 25 honors, including a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, the National Board of Review Freedom of Expression Award, and six audience awards. The documentary had a national primetime broadcast on the Oprah Winfrey Network, then streamed on Netflix for two years and is now available on Amazon Prime. The film helped spark movements to change domestic violence law in multiple US states. Yoav also directed the San Francisco IndieFest Jury Prize-winning documentary “Food Stamped,” which was nationally broadcast on Pivot, Participant Media’s cable/satellite network. Yoav is an alumnus of UC Berkeley, where he received the university’s top prize in creative writing. He is producing and directing “Love, Murder and Miracles” as part of a project entitled “Untold Stories of the Holocaust,” which will also include “Diary from the Ashes,” his NEH-funded film about the diary of Rywka Lipszyc, an imaginative teenage girl whose handwritten notebook was only discovered in recent years.
For me as a person, as a socially committed woman and as an artist, the message of the film is this: seek in your own environment those who are weak, pay attention to their suffering and the injustices they are faced with, and then do as much as you can to ease their suffering. It hardly surprised me to find out that Anna Boros had become a nurse in her new life in America.
The story of Dr. Mohamed Helmy and his special bond with Anna Boros symbolizes the foundation of humanity and the bridges between different religions, nations and cultures. I firmly believe that Helmy’s story will captivate audiences around the world, spur them on to new activities in the close and broader environments and inspire them to pay more attention to their surroundings.
In my view, the project has several goals: First of all, I want to bring this story of the personal civic courage of a single Muslim man against the monstrous Nazi machine to an audience comprised of different target groups. Since this story, unlike so many others of that era, has a happy ending, it gives viewers hope, motivation and a good feeling when they leave the cinema. The dramatization through animation brings the story to life and creates a strong emotional relationship with the characters. This is not a conventional Holocaust film.
The story of an Arab who rescues a Jew can act as a source of hope for peace, forgiveness, and reciprocity between cultures in a shared environment
Headfirst Arts & Media, Inc.
Yoav Potash – Producer & Director
Anita Friedman – Executive Producer
Aaron I. Butler
Directors of Animation
Marcin Podolec and José Garnelo