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SNEAK PEAK | “Ver Vet Blaybn? (Who Will Remain?)”: A New Documentary Film about Avrom Sutzkever and His Legacy
Join the filmmakers for this special private screening and discussion, exclusively for Yiddish Book Center members and friends, of the first feature-length documentary film from the Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project.

“Ver Vet Blaybn?” follows Israeli actress Hadas Kalderon’s travels to Lithuania, where she attempts to better understand her grandfather, Avrom Sutzkever, using his diary to trace his early life in Vilna and his survival of the Holocaust. Sutzkever (1913–2010) was an acclaimed Yiddish poet—described by the New York Times as the “greatest poet of the Holocaust”—whose verse drew on his youth in Siberia and Vilna, his spiritual and material resistance during World War II, and his postwar life in the State of Israel. Kalderon, whose native language is Hebrew and must rely on translation of her grandfather’s work, is nevertheless determined to connect with what remains of the poet’s bygone world and confront the personal responsibility of preserving her grandfather’s literary legacy. Woven into the documentary are family home videos, newly recorded interviews, and archival recordings, including Sutzkever’s testimony at the Nuremberg Trials. Recitation of his poetry and personal reflections on resisting Nazi forces as a partisan fighter reveal how Sutzkever tried to make sense of the Holocaust and its aftermath. As Kalderon strives to reconstruct the stories told by her grandfather, the film examines the limits of language, geography, and time.

The event will be followed by a Q&A with the film’s creators: director and editor Emily Felder; director and producer Christa Whitney; and key character, co-producer, and Avrom Sutzkever’s granddaughter Hadas Kalderon.

This event will be presented via Zoom only. If you’d like to reserve a virtual seat in the Zoom audience—which will allow you to submit questions—registration is required.

Mar 21, 2021 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Speakers

Hadas Kalderon
Hadas Kalderon is the granddaughter of renowned poet Avrom Sutzkever. She is an actress, theater maker, playwright, and director who is currently serving as the artistic director of the National Youth Theatre. Hadas served as associate producer of “Ver Vet Blaybn? (Who Will Remain?)” and was also an associate producer of the award-winning documentary “Black Honey, the Life and Poetry of Avraham Sutzkever.”
Emily Felder
Emily Felder is a documentary film editor whose work has been screened in museums, libraries, and schools across the country. She studied anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she became invested in archaeology, visual ethnography, and nonfiction storytelling. She worked as the premiere technical assistant for the Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project and as an assistant editor at Florentine Films/Hott Productions on feature-length documentaries broadcast on PBS. She is now an editor and videographer based in Los Angeles, where she continues to make films.
Christa P. Whitney
Christa P. Whitney is a documentary filmmaker and the director of the Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project, a growing collection of more than 1,000 in-depth video interviews about Yiddish language and culture with people of all ages and backgrounds. Originally from Northern California, she became interested in Yiddish while studying comparative literature at Smith College. She has studied Yiddish language at the Vilnius Yiddish Institute as well as the Yiddish Book Center. For the past decade, she has traveled near and far in search of Yiddish stories, gaining skills in filmmaking, video production, and archival preservation along the way. Christa was recently included in the 2020 Forward50 list of “People We Needed in A Year We Didn’t.”