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.