We Shall Not Die Now
|We Shall Not Die Now|
|Directed by||Ashton Gleckman|
|Produced by||Bernard Hiller, Samantha Maynard, Miriam Sternlicht, Gi Orman|
|Written by||Ashton Gleckman|
|Starring||Benjamin Ferencz, Cantor Moshe Taube, Anita-Laser Wallfisch, Raul Hilbeg, Michael Berenbaum|
|Music by||Benjamin Wallfisch, Ashton Gleckman, Michael Frankenberger|
|Edited by||Ashton Gleckman|
|October 12th, 2019 (Heartland International Film Festival) December 5th, 2019 (Worldwide)|
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We Shall Not Die Now is a 2019 historical documentary film directed, edited, and scored by Indianapolis-based filmmaker, Ashton Gleckman. The film explores the Holocaust, when, between 1939 and 1945, over six million Jews and eleven million others were systematically murdered by the Nazi regime. Gleckman traveled around the US, UK, and Poland filming interviews with over twenty-five survivors, liberators, and more, including Benjamin Ferencz, the last living prosecutor of the Nuremberg trials. The film features footage filmed at all of the death camps in Poland, including Auschwitz, Treblinka, Belzec, Sobibor, and Chelmno.
Gleckman spent over a decade studying the Holocaust before making the film. He also spent time researching at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and speaking to scholars in preparation for filming. Those interviewed include the world’s preeminent scholar of the Holocaust, Dr. Michael Berenbaum (Director, Sigi Ziering Institute), Cantor Moshe Taube (#22 on Schindler’s List), Jack Betteil (survivor of six concentration camps), Auschwitz survivors Frank Grunwald and Ben Lesser, Ben Ferencz (the last living prosecutor of the Nuremberg Trials), and Ben Cooper (one of the last living liberators of the Nazi concentration camps).
The film incorporates a collection of archival footage, photographs, interviews, as well as footage captured during the making of Claude Lanzmann’s iconic documentary, SHOAH, which was filmed over the span of eleven years in the 1970s and 1980s.
The film premiered at the Heartland International Film Festival on October 12th, 2019. It won the Audience Choice Award for the film's category. The film will premiere in Los Angeles on December 3rd and will be released on December 5th on various streaming platforms.
The film's 150-minute runtime is divided into seven sections.
- Part One: A New Dawn
- Part Two: Liquidations and Deportations
- Part Three: The Death Camps
- Part Four: The Auschwitz Era
- Part Five: Those Who Watched, Those Who Rose
- Part Six: Liberation
- Part Seven: A New Dawn
The film is told entirely by the film's interviewees and doesn't feature a narrator. Much of the film is guided by Michael Berenbaum, a scholar of the Holocaust responsible for designing the exhibition at the United States Holocaust Museum. He was also the former CEO of Steven Spielberg's Shoah Foundation. The film explores the rise of antisemitism, the evolution of the Final Solution, the structure and functionality of the death train network, the operation of the various killing centers, the liberation, all the way up through the Nuremberg trials. The film incorporates images, archival video, new interviews, archival interviews, and other forms of media.
- Cantor Moshe Taube
- Jack Betteil
- Anita Lasker-Wallfisch
- Ben Lesser
- Ben Cooper
- Frank Grunwald
- Chaim Engel (Archival)
- Esther Raab (Archival)
- Isadore Helfing (Archival)
- Cecilie Klein-Pollack (Archival)
- Sam Bankhalter (Archival)
- Gerda Weissmann-Klein (Archival)
- Avraham Lindwasser (Archival)
- Richard Glazar (Archival)
- Filip Muller (Archival)
- Ben Cooper
- John Holmes
- Benjamin Ferencz
- Raul Hilberg
- Michael Berenbaum
- Steve Carr
- Olha Kolesnyk
- Richard Rubenstein
Most of the interviews for the film were done throughout the United States in locations such as California, Nevada, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Flordia, and Connecticut. Additional interviews were filmed in the United Kingdom and Poland. Because of the film's limited financial resources, all interviews were filmed with a one-person crew. Gleckman would set up the cameras, conduct the interviews, and take the footage back to his editing suite in Indianapolis to start constructing the film. All in all, Gleckman filmed over twenty-five interviews. The production also collaborated with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to incorporate footage from their Oral History, Steven Speilberg, and Claude Lanzmann collections.
Gleckman filmed over fifteen hours of video footage in Poland over the span of two weeks. This included footage at all of the concentration camps (Auschwitz, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Chelmno, Majdanek, and Plaszow) and footage of all of the major cities used by the Third Reich during the war (Krakow, Warsaw, Lublin, Lodz). Gleckman made the journey alone and used a Canon C300 cinema camera, which he rented, to capture the footage.
The film premiered at the 28th Heartland International Film Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana. The film will make it's West Coast premiere on December 3rd and will be released on Amazon Prime and iTunes on December 5th. Richard Propes gave the film 3.5 out of 5 stars and wrote, "It's difficult to describe the experience of watching We Shall Not Die Now, though perhaps it's best described as possessing both moments of intense sorrow and grief and shards of light and hope and even a little exhilaration. The film is both a reminder of the devastating impact of hate and the overwhelming, awe-inspiring impact of love to overcome it."
- Propes, Richard. ""We Shall Not Die Now" Claims Indiana Spotlight Audience Award at Heartland". The Independent Critic.
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