Seven decades after she learned and sang them, 90 year old Holocaust survivor Guta Goldstein has kept alive a repertoire of songs from the Łódź ghetto that she continues to perform in private. The film charts Guta’s story, from her home in Łódź, into the ghetto, from camp to camp, and to a new life. Sustaining her through this traumatic journey was music. Guta has used song to reconstruct memories of her family and friends. These Polish and Yiddish melodies evoke pre-war memories of joy and comfort alongside mid-war experiences of grief and camaraderie. Many of the songs are unique to her experiences and have not been recorded or performed – but will be in this film, more than 75 years after Guta’s liberation. A film that celebrates the unique power of music and memory.
Tim Slade’s films have screened widely, including at more than 70 international film Festivals. Besides being released theatrically and broadcast on stations including PBS and ZDF, his films have screened at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the British Museum, and for the United Nations; and at universities including Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard. His feature documentary ‘4’ was released theatrically in Australia and New Zealand, and won a Gold HUGO as well as receiving nominations at Banff World Television Festival, the International Documentary Association Awards and the Australian Film Institute awards. The Destruction of Memory, which explores the issue of intentional cultural destruction, has screened in more than 50 countries and was funded by the Henry Luce Foundation and the Rothschild Foundation, and was developed with the assistance of Australian government film agencies.
Recent studies have shown that awareness and understanding of the Holocaust are worryingly low amongst the general public, particularly youth. In one study, 11% of American adults and more than 20% of millennials hadn’t heard of, or weren’t sure they had heard of,
the Holocaust. Another poll revealed that 32% of Europeans knew ‘just a little or nothing at all about the Holocaust. With these trends in parallel with a rise in fascist ideologies in various parts of the world, there is a vital need for telling these stories, while the few survivors are still
living. The film will play a role in continuing to communicate the lessons of the Holocaust with audiences in many countries, including youth audiences. The uniqueness of Guta’s story will bring an important new perspective into cultural explorations of the Holocaust, as well as
to a greater understanding of the human condition and human resilience.