1219 Park Avenue
Talk with Esther Podemski following the screening!
Tracing the history of an old family photograph, the filmmaker, Esther Podemski, travels to Poland with a group of her parents’ contemporaries. Fifty years after surviving the Holocaust, the elders return to their hometown, Poddebice, to conduct a memorial service in the Jewish graveyard. They find an empty field, marked by a lone tablet, the only testament to the history of this place to survive the wartime desecration. In the nearby city of Lodz , we meet Layb Pradskier, custodian of the immense, crumbling Jewish cemetery. Here we discover that all that remains of the once several hundred thousand strong Jewish population of Lodz is a handful of aging Holocaust survivors. Lodz, and indeed all of Poland, exemplifies the success of the Holocaust; Poland is all but totally cleansed of Jews. A montage of historical images, snapshots, and archival music, together with new location footage, House of the World moves between personal accounts of Jewish Poland and historic events.
Esther Podemski is a filmmaker and visual artist whose works have been exhibited in galleries, film festivals and academic venues. House of the World, her documentary about the aftermath of the Holocaust, was shot in Poland and has been showcased in European and American art centers and festivals, including Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, Lincoln Center, and Los Angeles International Jewish Film Festival.
The screening is in conjunction with Memory Unearthed at the Portland Art Museum and Last Journey of the Jews of Lodz at OJMCHE.