I grew up surrounded by my great-grandfather’s painting; images documenting the life of Polish-Jews in between the two World Wars. I understood from an early age that my great-grandfather, Moshe Rynecki (1881-1943), perished in the Holocaust, but I knew little about how Dad and his parents survived. Continue reading →
As much as I had not wanted to come to Poland at all, I really didn’t want to go to a Nazi concentration camp. I had had a bad experience with the Holocaust Museum in D.C., and that was with just displays of objects taken from camps. This prospect seemed more than scary; it was nauseating.
(updated April 21, 2019)The San Francisco Film Festival gave the Mel Novikoff Award to the great BBC series ARENA and its producer Anthony Wall.
The award is named after the much loved San Francisco art cinema owner whose Surf Theatre was legendary. Novikoff saw the potential of taking the run down and all-but-forgotten Castro Theatre and making it a true destination for movie lovers. The Award is given “to an individual or institution whose work has enhanced the film-going public’s appreciation of world cinema.”
There is something about being in nature that instantly calms you. Being surrounded by majestic towering trees or open skies instead of austere concrete seems to turn off the chatty mind and widen the eyes and ears eager to take in all the colors and sounds, be they subtle or bold. Becoming attuned to the multitude of these details can make us feel both insignificant as individuals but also deeply connected and integral to the process as a whole.
Artist Todd McGrain‘s beautifully crafted and poetic documentary Elephant Path/Njaia Njoku starts out much the same way, as an invitation to slow down and enjoy the natural rhythm of Dzanga Bai (Village of Elephants) in the Central African Republic (CAR).