Tiziana Dearing, host of WBUR’s Radio Boston, will present a special screening of the documentary film, Soul Witness, the Brookline Holocaust Witness Project on Monday, January 27 at 7 pm to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day. To date, the film has screened to over 1800 people at the Coolidge.
Northeast showings of the film include a screening in Pittsburgh to benefit the three synagogues affected by the October 27, 2018, mass shooting.
Last October, Dearing conducted an in-depth interview with Bravman for Radio Boston. Bravman, commenting on the interview, “It took me a couple of years, but with Tiziana’s help, I was able to find my own voice on what it was like to live inside over 80 hours of survivor testimony and how that affected my life moving forward.”
Soul Witness is based on over 80 hours of Holocaust video testimony, conducted approximately 30 years ago in Brookline. Interviews ranged from 45 minutes to 7 hours. The goal of the effort was to memorialize the Holocaust through video testimony interviews.
Holocaust survivor Regina Barshak and Holocaust liberator Leon Satenstein spearheaded the project; which included Stephen Bressler, then Brookline’s human relations director, and world-renowned Holocaust testimony expert Lawrence Langer
Due to reasons that are as yet mostly unknown, the tapes ended up in a metal closet for more than 20 years.
“R. Harvey Bravman’s Soul Witness is a quietly devastating oral history,” said Boston Globe film critic Peter Keough on the film, “This film is a tribute to the survivor’s courage, resiliency, and an all too timely reminder that it always can happen again.”
“This film is important both for the stories that survivors share, but also for the way their voices are presented,” said Mark Skvirsky and Tracy O’Brien of Facing History and Ourselves from a written endorsement of the project. “The structure and tone of the film ‘humanizes’ these individuals who might otherwise be perceived simply as victims.”
“There isn’t anything we can do about the Holocaust, it happened before most of us were born, said Bravman commenting on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day screening. “I believe we can do something about how we treat each other. My hope is that screenings like this will play a small part in helping to remind ourselves of the consequences of not being present and vigilant in the face of all forms of intolerance and unjustifiable hate.”
The film is intended for a general audience with an advisory for children under 13.
Tickets to the screening available online at the Coolidge Corner Theatre or at the box office.
The Soul Witness Trailer can be found at https://soulwitness.org.