Dominic Ambrose Blogblot

of words: narrative, film and non-fiction

The Last Jew from Drohobytsch, a film by Paul Rosdy, opens in Vienna

Click on the image for the website link.

A fascinating new film by director Paul Rosdy opened Friday, March 9 in Vienna. Der Letzte Jude von Drohobytsch (The Last Jew from Drohobytsch) is the true story of  Alfred Schreyer, a man who has lived through an entire century of often cataclysmic changes in this small Ukrainian city. Before the arrival of the Nazi troops he had been the student of the Polish painter and writer Bruno Schulz, but then when war and occupation came to this land he was sent to a concentration camp. After the war he returned to his hometown and for sixteen years he was a singer and violinist in an orchestra that played in a cinema lobby.  Alfred Schreyer still lives in Drohobytsch and in this film he leads the filmmaker on a tour of his city and his life.

click here for the film’s photo gallery on flickr.

Paul Rosdy is an Austrian documentary filmmaker who is interested in the little known stories of MittelEuropean culture. In the cauldron of political turmoil that has characterized Central European societies during the past century, there are many stories which sometimes seem on the verge of disappearing into oblivion either through callous ignorance or willful malice. In Central Europe, whoever controls memory controls history; Paul Rosdy would like to be one of the filmmakers who can keep the memory alive for the most vulnerable, and bring their stories to life.  His first success was with the 1998 documentary, The Port of Last Resort, which he co-authored. It presents the story of 20,000 European Jews who fled to Shanghai during World War II.  Then in 2005 he wrote and directed New World, which is a journey through the old Austro-Hungarian lands of Serbia, Romania and Hungary. That film used a collage format that weaved century old photography and footage with present day scenes of these traditional lands and people.

The film Der Letzte Jude von Drohobytsch was part of the Viennale, 2011. It now begins its theater run in Austria. Hopefully it will also be seen in New York soon, too.

Click for Rosdy Film website. 

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March 11, 2012 - Posted by | cinema | , , , ,

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