Coming to theateres today, Friday, April 13:
St Louis 2016
Fargo, Harlem, Miami Jewish, Rocky Mountain Women’s
The filmmaker revisits her grandmother’s enduring mission to share her story as a Holocaust survivor.
The film’s titular subject is Maryla Michalowski-Dyamant, an outspoken, disarmingly funny Polish woman who emerged from the horrors of Auschwitz as the sole survivor of her family, and who died when the filmmaker was only eleven. She appears here primarily through a collection of interviews and public appearances where she relates her experiences of the Holocaust, the anti-Semitism that welcomed her upon liberation, and her lifelong survivor’s guilt. Having approached this project as a way to better learn about her grandmother, Dykman ends up employing the crutch of many a first-time filmmaker and takes an unnecessarily meta approach, attempting to make her film also about her own journey – in making the doc, and in following in Michalowski-Dyamant’s footsteps both literally – retracing her steps – and figuratively – viewing her filmmaking as a different way of continuing to speak out about the Holocaust. This split focus results in a clunkiness that, rather than supplementing the older woman’s story, unfortunately serves as a distraction.