History | Documentary

Resistance: 19 April 1943-2018

Cinema Aventure (Brussels)

The non-profitmaking association Mémoire Auschwitz and the Polish Institute in Brussels are joining forces to commemorate the 75th anniversary of two great acts of resistance: the Warsaw ghetto uprising and the attack on the XXth convoy deporting people from Mechelen to Auschwitz. To mark the occasion, the documentary ROTEM by Agnieszka ARNOLD about Kazik RATAJZER (Simcha ROTEM), one of the last survivors of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, will be presented for the first time in Belgium.

>>> Cinéma Aventure (Galerie du Centre/Rue des Fripiers 57, 1000 Brussels) – see map
>>> Thursday 19 April 2018 – welcome at 19h15, you can find the entire programme for the evening HERE
>>> Entry is free of charge, but you are kindly asked to reserve:
A drink will be provided for all at the end of the evening.

Evening programme:
  • 19h30 - How should one approach a visit to the former Warsaw ghetto today? Contextualisation of the film "Rotem", by Johan PUTTEMANS from the Auschwitz non-profitmaking association "Mémoire Auschwitz"
  • 19h50 - Screening of the documentary "Rotem" by Agnieszka Arnold
  • 21h15 - Presentation by Ms Karin VON STEINBURG, chair of the non-profitmaking association"Atelier Marcel Hastir": "L'élaboration des plans pour arrêter le XXe convoi de Malines vers Auschwitz par trois étudiants bruxellois : Youra Livchitz, Robert Maistriau et Jean Franklemon" ("Drawing up plans to stop the XXth convoy from Mechelen to Auschwitz by three Brussels students: Youra Livchitz, Robert Maistriau and Jean Franklemon").
  • 21h30 - Closure of the evening with the screening of 3 audiovisual testimonies given by people who escaped the XXth convoy (Sarah Timperman and Stéphanie Perrin / non-profitmaking association "Mémoire d'Auschwitz").

(Agnieszka Arnold, Poland, OV with English subtitles, 77 min)
The film is made up of fragments of conversations conducted by Simcha Rotem, a Polish Jew born in Warsaw, who fought during the Warsaw ghetto uprising (1943) and the Warsaw uprising (1944), recorded over a period spanning 18 years, as well as material from archives taken from public and private collections the world over. The film includes notably extracts from discussions between Simcha Rotem and Marek Edelman as well as other heroes from this time, such as Luba Gawissar, Julek Harmatz and Ziuta Hartman.

The resources available enabling us to throw more light on this man's life are few and far between. With the exception of the films ordered by Jürgen Stroop, the SS member entrusted with the task of destroying the ghetto, little information remains on the act of destruction. This is why Arnold decided to make an animated film in order to depict the dramas of war and transfer human emotions onto the screen rather than merely illustrate events. In order to achive this goal, the director called on the young video and photography artist Agnieszka Polska, who makes regular use of archive photographs in her work. Brought to the screen, interpreted and imbued with a new meaning, this archive material is highlighted to wonderful effect by the expressive music of pianist and composer Zygmunt Krauze.
More info on the film HERE.

This film was made with the support of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute (IAM).


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