AUDIENCE AWARD - The Mill Valley Film Festival | BEST DOCUMENTARY - Warsaw Jewish Film Festival | AUDIENCE AWARD - Los Angeles Jewish Film FestivalHolocaust Survivor • Anti-Semitism • Human Rights • Jewish Studies • Archival
Date of Completion: 2015 | Run Time: 64 minutes | Language: English | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript & Study Guide
| Co-Director & Director of Photography: Eli Adler | Co-Producer, Co-Director & Editor: Blair Gershkow | Executive Producer: Jill Grossman | Composer: Todd Boekelheide | Post-Production Sound: Phil Perkins
SURVIVING SKOKIE is an intensely personal documentary by former Skokie resident Eli Adler about the provocative events of the 1970s, their aftermath, his family's horrific experience of the Shoah, and a journey with his father to confront long-suppressed memories. Curiously, the neo-Nazi villain of the story, Frank Collin, is—like Adler—the son of a Holocaust survivor. Rejecting his father, Collin became a virulent anti-Semite, but his right to demonstrate in Skokie is nevertheless defended by the American Civil Liberties Union. As community leader and survivor Aaron Elster says in an interview: "The neo-Nazis accomplished something... they were the stimulus of the survivors getting together and saying hey, we've got to do something." And what they did was to end their years of silence, become truth-tellers, and speak out so that their painful stories would not be forgotten. In SURVIVING SKOKIE, the filmmaker's father, Jack Adler—a Polish Holocaust survivor—confronts his own past, returning to Poland with his son to tell the stories of family members who perished in the ghetto and death camps. They visit Pabianice, Poland, Jack's ancestral home and Auschwitz—retracing the steps of Jack's horrifying journey. SURVIVING SKOKIE is the story of a community's battle against the voices and gestures of hate, of a quiet village and its once-turbulent history.