Studio filmowe OKNA

 
Europe`s Point of Divergence/Convergence
The 4th International Days of Documentary Cinema
Lublin, 9-13 April 2003
The 3rd Award for
Hanukka, A double time
by Daniel Strehlau

           
The documentary is a portrait of the modern Warsaw Jewish Community in Poland. After many years some people came back home and discovered their Jewish identity. They find out in the fourth generation about their Jewish ancestors. The people uncover their Jewish identity and roots through religion as well as cultural means.
The premiere took place in December 2000 at the General Consulate of Republic of Poland in New York City. The Minister of Polish Foreign Affairs of Poland, Prof. Wladyslaw Bartoszewski was willing to give his name as honorary sponsor for the event.

The film also documents the first postwar circumcision ceremony in Poland, held at the Nozyk Synagogue in Warsaw during Hanukkah. Interviews with members of Warsaw's Jewish community show varying understandings and interpretations of being Jewish in Poland today. This documentary asks provocative questions: Who is a Jew in today's Poland? What does it mean to be a Jew in Poland today? What is the extent of assimilation in a primarily Catholic country?

"...I feel 100% Jewish and 100% Polish. I am a citizen of the State of Poland and it means more than supporting the Polish football team. It is my world. I have always wanted to live here. I feel attached to polish culture... "

"...The Jewish community in Poland is more Polish than Jewish. They were all brought up in Polish families, attended Polish schools ..."

"...I feel attached to the Jewish culture and religion, though I was brought up as a Christian. My parents are still Christian. There was a moment in my life when I decided to enter a Catholic seminary in South Poland ..."

"...It is not easy to say who is Jewish in Poland nowadays. It is a dangerous question. Who is to decide? What are the criteria ..."

Interviewees and discussion members in the documentary are: Konstanty Gebert, former Editor of the Midrasz Monthly. The b.m. Nathan Cywiak, member of the Warsaw Jewish community, died April 1st 1999 Helena Datner, Jewish Education Center, a leader of the Warsaw Jewish community Michal Bilewicz, Editor of the Jidele Monthly Dominik Lau, Jidele Kuba Spiewak, Journalist and member of the Warsaw Jewish community Jonah Bookstein, former Director of The Ronald S.Lauder Foundation in Poland Simcha Binem Skrzypczak, the youngest character of the film and member of the Warsaw Jewish community.

The film was shot during Hanukkah 1997 and 1998, and was completed in the beginning of 2000.
 
Hanukkah A Double Time as well as the documentary The Jews of Warsaw is independent productions produced thanks to private sponsors as well as my own budget.
 
Screenplay and direction: Daniel Strehlau
Camera: Jacek Niewadzi, Daniel Strehlau
Edition: Jan Mironowicz.
The Windows Film Studio
 
Beta SP
 
Prod: 1997 - 2000.
 
Dur: 35 minut.

 

© Hollywood 2013 by Daniel Strehlau