The Lonely Child

“The Lonely Child” is a feature documentary that tells the story of a little-known Yiddish lullaby “Dos Elnte Kind” written inside the Vilna Ghetto during the Holocaust.


THE LONELY CHILD is a feature documentary that tells the story of a little-known Yiddish lullaby “Dos Elnte Kind” written inside the Vilna Ghetto during the Holocaust. Almost 80 years later, the daughter of the girl in the song — Alix Wall — goes on a quest to find those keeping the song alive today, inviting musicians from around the world to perform their own interpretations of it. Through conversations and performance, the lullaby serves as a vehicle to explore themes of inherited memory and trauma, music and art as resistance, and the song’s surprising relevance today as we are losing the last living Holocaust Survivors. What starts as a personal family story of discovery about Holocaust resistance becomes a large-scale music film that brings together artists and thinkers from different parts of the world around common themes.


Marc Smolowitz is a multi-award-winning director, producer, and executive producer who has been significantly involved in 50+ successful independent films. The combined footprint of his works has touched 250+ film festivals & markets on 5 continents, yielding substantial worldwide sales to theatrical, television, and VOD outlets, notable box office receipts, and numerous awards and nominations. His credits include films that have screened at top-tier festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Venice, Tribeca, Locarno, Chicago, Palm Springs, SF FILM, AFI Docs, IDFA, DOC NYC, CPH: DOX, Tokyo, Melbourne, Viennale, Jerusalem, among others. In 2009, Marc founded 13th Gen, an S.F.-based company that works with a dynamic range of independent film partners globally to oversee the financing, production, post-production, marketing, sales, and distribution efforts of a vibrant portfolio of films and filmmakers. The company has successfully advanced Marc’s career-long focus on powerful social issue filmmaking across all genres. In 2016, he received one of the prestigious Gotham Fellowships to attend the Cannes Film Festival’s Producers Network marking him as one of the USA’s most influential independent film producers. 

About the Writer/Producer

Alix Wall is an award-winning Oakland-based journalist who is a regular contributor to the New York Times Vows column, the Jewish press, and media about food and culture. In recent years, she won three first place awards in the American Jewish Press Association’s Rockower Awards; her latest in a long list of AJPA awards dating back to 1997. She has also been recognized by the San Francisco Press Club and New California Media Awards. As a contributing editor to J.,The Jewish News of Northern California, she writes a monthly column about interesting Jews in the food world as well as other features. She is also a regular contributor to The San Francisco Chronicle, Berkeleyside, The Forward and Edible East Bay. Alix is also the founder of the Illuminoshi: The Not-So-Secret Society of Bay Area Jewish Food Professionals, a networking group for Jews who work in the food industry. Alix is part of the Next Generations Speaker’s Bureau of the Holocaust Center of Northern California, for which she shares her family’s Holocaust story with students. Alix is on the advisory board of Eden Village West, a Jewish farm-to-table summer camp, served on the executive committee of the Hazon Food Conferences for two years, and on the program board of the Berkeley Jewish Music Festival for four years. 

In Production

Film Type

Film Length

Marc Smolowitz

Writer and Producer
Alix Wall

Benjamin Berkowitz

Co-Producer (Warsaw)
Malgorzata Koziol

Director of Photography
Matt Rome

Music Consultant and Composer
Gil Talmi

Michaelle McGaraghan

Yiddishist and Music Consultant
Michael Alpert

Janis Plotkin

Eleanor Shapiro

Advisor (Berlin)
Giovanni Morassutti

Dos Elnte Kind (The Lonely Child) – English Translation

Who’s chasing me — who?
And leaves me no peace?
Oh mother, my mother dear,
Where are you, where?
Your Sorele seeks you,
Your child’s crying out
Howling and wailing like wind in the grass.
My father is missing,
Who knows where he’s gone?
He was caught in a trap by a terrible foe.

The night was so dark, when this happened to him,
Still darker than night was my dear mother’s face.
All day she wanders, all evening she roams.
All through the restless night, the child worries on.
She hears in her mind her father’s close footsteps,
Her mother still rocks her and sings her this song.
If it happens some day that a mother you’ll be,
you must make your children aware of our pain.
How your father and mother suffered under the enemy.
Forget not the past, not for one single day!

Watch the Trailer