"Never Forget to Lie"
Saw a wonderful movie last night at the old crumbling Victoria on 16th Street. "Never Forget to Lie" is a life's work film by our friend Steve's associate Marian Marzynski. It's the story of his life as a child of the Warsaw Ghetto, but it's not a holocaust movie per se -- there are no Nazis, for example, no archival jack-boot footage -- it's about the feelings of a child being sent to the ghetto and watching people all around him being hauled away, remembering the sound of the Germans screaming in the streets below.
Marzynski was in the theater and spoke afterwards about the synchronicity between the film maker and the cameraman, and what it's like to do a documentary where there is no script and no professional actors. The man is in his late 70s now and this is a breathtaking film.
He also spoke about who lived and who didn't. It wasn't just luck. His father, for example, when Marian was born in 1937, refused to circumcise him, because he knew this would mark him as a Jew and put him in danger later. Of course, he was a secular, not a religious Jew. More religious Jews tended to die, less religious people could hide and be willing to do what it took to survive. Friendlier people had more friends, outside the ghetto, who would help.
So, if you think about it, many of today's Jews are in this way descendants of friendlier and non-religious Jews. This isn't genetics, but it is the way social engineering works.
And now, this generation of Polish, Italian, even German kids want to know about the Jewish history of their countries. Marzynki's next film will be about the train that takes 200 Italian students, every two years, from Florence to Auschwitz, recreating the route of the Italian death trains on the 1940s. People 'want to know.'
Maybe it's like we 'want to know' about our Navajo, our Sioux, our Cherokee. Maybe they just want to dance the hora in the streets of Warsaw and eat a blintz with sausage. Maybe it's no different than shamans in Sherman Oaks.
Maybe not. Maybe.