The Soul Witness, The Brookline Holocaust Witness Project trailer has been released in anticipation of the upcoming special screening of the work-in-progress film on January 26 at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline.
While the special screening of this 65-minute version of the movie is taking place in 2017, it’s been almost 30 years in the making. In the late 1980s, two Brookline residents, Regina Barshak, who was a witness to the Holocaust, and Leon Satenstein, who saw the liberation of the concentration camps during World War II, worked to create a living memorial by interviewing local residents who had witnessed the Holocaust.
With the support of their community, Barshak and Satenstein enlisted Lawrence L. Langer, Professor Emeritus of English at Simmons College, to conduct most of the interviews and supervise all the interviews. The team conducted approximately 80 hours of local witness testimony, mostly between 1990-1991.
The original interview tapes remained dormant until 2014 when Brookline’s Chief Diversity Officer Lloyd Gellineau discovered the interviews and introduced them to R. Harvey Bravman. In 2016, Bravman had the tapes digitized in Philadelphia and began work on the project.
Soul Witness is written, directed and co-produced by Bravman. Rob Kirwan edited the film and served as co-producer. Many people worked behind the scenes to make this movie happen, including the film’s associate editor Danielle Myers, sound mixer Douglas Stevens and Ed Grenga who composed the original main theme for Soul Witness. Vekonda Luangaphay assisted with video logging, and Sheila White and Mona Wiener logged and translated their father Chaim Fisgeyer’s Yiddish interview into English so the production team could include segments of his interview in the film.
Tickets for the special screening of the film are selling quickly at the Coolidge. Tickets can be purchased online on Coolidge’s website.