An animated documentary from Humanity in Action, Voices in the Void recounts the remarkable ”Danish Exception” of October 1943. The piece features the story of late Rabbi Bent Melchior, who, as a teenager went into hiding with his family to escape Nazi deportation. In his own words, Rabbi Melchior tells a story of heroism and survival, and of the regular Danish people who took exceptional steps to save their neighbors and ensure their safe escape to Sweden.
In the midst of the Covid pandemic, and employing WhatsApp calls, interviews, and Internet research, a New Zealand-based director seeks to better understand a significant experience in her mother’s past. In 1946, three young Jewish teenagers had met at the Ben Shemen school, in Palestine. Each had been traumatised by the Holocaust and World War II. These women, now in their late eighties – one of whom is the director’s mother – recount the ways in which Ben Shemen offered a healing and soul-nourishing refuge. Mixed-media and an animated sketchbook aesthetic, together with the collaging of fragments of music and sound, accompany their retrieval of memories, and the director’s efforts to understand their experiences.
Two Trees in Jerusalem, an animated documentary produced by Humanity in Action, profiles the remarkable history of Eberhard and Donata Helmrich, who together saved the lives of countless Jews during the Holocaust. The pair worked as a husband-and-wife team in the eye of the storm, in Berlin and the blood-soaked fields of Eastern Europe, devising ever-more daring gambits to save any life they could, even as death surrounded them. The history is narrated by the couple’s daughter Cornelia, who was called into her parents’ confidence as a young child, and was imbued with an inner-strength that guided her work decades later as a politician and Commissioner for immigrant and refugee issues during the 1990’s.
Based on ”What, Of this Goldfish, Would You Wish?” by Etgar Keret. In this bitter-sweet animation, the Fisherman and the Fish folk tale comes to life. A lonely fisherman has a magical goldfish, who grants him three wishes. He already used two wishes to help others in need. Now he is facing a grave decision; after accidentally killing a stranger, he must choose whether to keep his last wish and become a murderer. Or to use it to save a stranger”s life, but in doing so he will lose the only thing that truly matters, his friend.
My Father’s War, an animated documentary produced by Humanity in Action, brings to life the experiences of Peter Hein and his son David. As a Jewish toddler in the Netherlands in the 1940s, Peter was separated from his parents and whisked from hiding place to hiding place to escape deportation and death. Decades later, his own son David attempts to forge his own path after his father’s mental health buckles under the weight of his memories. The film reveals the hereditary trauma of the Holocaust: the deep emotional wounds of forefathers passed on to children and grandchildren. Narrated by both Peter and David, the film depicts an intergenerational conversation, reverberating across the decades.