“Who Will Write Our History,” Roberta Grossman’s chronicle of a lesser known form of WWII-era resistance, will have a theatrical run, website Women and Hollywood has learned exclusively. The Abramorama documentary tracing the work of historian Emanuel Ringelblum and a group of journalists, scholars, and community leaders — who defied the Nazis and their propaganda by recording the war from the Jewish perspective — will open at New York’s Quad Cinema on January 18 and at multiple Laemmle theaters in Los Angeles on February 1. The film will then screen in engagements across the country.
“Who Will Write Our History” will be presented at over 100 theaters and special venues on Sunday, January 27, to coincide with the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. With anchor screenings at Washington, D.C.’s United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Los Angeles’ Museum of Tolerance, Auschwitz-Birkenau’s Memorial and Museum, and Paris’ UNESCO headquarters, among others, the film’s January 27 rollout will make it “the widest-ever global theatrical screening event for a Holocaust documentary,” a press release revealed.
Written, directed, and produced by Grossman (“Seeing Allred,” “Above and Beyond”), “Who Will Write Our History” is based on Samuel D. Kassow’s book. Its story begins in Poland in November 1940, after the Nazis placed 450,000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. The documentary combines the writings of Ringelblum’s (also known as Oyneg Shabes) archive, rarely seen footage, and dramatizations shot in Lodz and Warsaw. Shabes and his fellow resistance fighters “defied their murderous enemy with the ultimate weapon – the truth – and risked everything so that their archive would survive the war, even if they did not.”
“The moment I found out about this secret band of journalists, scholars, and historians, I knew I had to make a film about them. Their story is, in my opinion, the most important unknown story of the Holocaust,” Grossman said. She continued, “In 1999, three document collections from Poland were included in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register: the masterpieces of Chopin, the scientific works of Copernicus, and the Oyneg Shabes Archive.
Historians concur that the Oyneg Shabes Archive is the richest cache of eyewitness, contemporaneous accounts to survive the Holocaust. Despite its importance, the archive remains largely unknown outside academic circles,” she revealed. “It is my hope that ‘Who Will Write Our History’ will change that in the way that only a film can do, by making the story accessible to millions of people around the world.”
“Who Will Write Our History” had its world premiere at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, where it received the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature. The film will make its NYC premiere at the New York Jewish Film Festival on Thursday, January 17.
Go to “Who Will Write Our History’s” website to find a screening engagement near you.