Coming to theatres today, Friday, April 26:
Jewish Motifs Warsaw 2018
St Louis, Rhode Island, Southern Circuit, Jewish fests in San Francisco, Boston, Jerusalem, New York, Miami, and Palm Springs
The filmmaker takes a quest around the world to find her great-grandfather’s lost art.
Moshe Rynecki lived in Poland and painted everyday scenes of Jewish life before being sent to a concentration camp during WWII, where he was killed. While his family managed to keep some of his artwork, most was lost during the war. Decades later, Moshe’s great-granddaughter, Elizabeth, who grew up fascinated by his paintings, begins to showcase his work online, and, in the process, discovers other work in museums and private collections around the world. She sets out to see this work, often running up against obstacles by institutions or individuals who appear frightened that she will attempt to lay claim to Moshe’s art, but Elizabeth’s interest, while personal, is ultimately more historical and cultural. The result of her travels is both a book and this documentary project, which, to its detriment, is more about her search than it is about Moshe’s work. Clunkily narrating every step of her journey, and employing home movie-like production values, this is a very personal, very homegrown project. In this way, it functions as a testimony about the horrific consequences of the Holocaust on families, but, as valuable as that is, it’s one served by a large body of films. Consequently, what gets somewhat short shrift are the issues uniquely central to Moshe and his artwork.