We've just launched our short film – Journeys – at an event at Clapham Picturehouse Cinema. The event was attended by Holocaust survivor Eve Kugler and students from local secondary schools.
Eve Kugler speaks to students at Clapham Picturehouse
The title of the film Journeys reflects the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2014. The theme of Journeys reminds us that the experience of those affected by the Holocaust and subsequent genocides is characterised by forced journeys.
This film explores a variety of journeys, prompting us to consider those we make every day and those we choose to take to seek new horizons. Journeys of people such as Daniel Bent, who cycled 9,000 miles from the UK to India; Leah Romain, who journeyed to Grenada to meet family for the first time; and James Tombling, who travelled to build a school hall in Kenya.
These are juxtaposed with the forced journeys that characterised the experiences of people during the Holocaust and subsequent genocides; journeys of persecution, escape or into hiding, as refugees, and of return to places where family and friends once thrived. The film features the journeys of Holocaust survivor Lily Ebert; Var Ashe Houston, who was forced from her home during the Genocide in Cambodia; and Appolinaire Kageruka, who escaped and survived the Genocide in Rwanda.
The film also looks at the items that people take with them on their journeys. The only possession that Lily was able to keep with her on her journey was her gold pendant, given to her by her mother, which remarkably survived the camp with her, hidden in the heel of her shoe. Var Ashe Houston and her family were forced to leave their home in Phnom Penh, the items they put in the car were gathered quickly and were only the essentials. Var also took her English Oxford Dictionary. You can find out more about the contributers whose journeys feature in the film.
Var's possessions Lily's locket
Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of HMDT said:
‘We are delighted to launch our film for HMD 2014 at Picturehouse Cinemas, with whom we are partnering to deliver a fantastic project which educates students about the Holocaust through film and survivor testimony. This year’s HMD film has survivor testimony at its heart. It’s deliberately thought-provoking – contrasting the life-changing journeys we choose with the life-changing journeys survivors of genocide have endured.’
‘I hope everyone will share the film to ensure the message of Holocaust Memorial Day is spread as widely as possible.’
This year we are asking you to take a step to remember the journeys of those who experienced the Holocaust and subsequent genocides and to help create a future free from the dangers of hatred and persecution.