Rewriting History

September 14, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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“Rewriting History”, a documentary made by an Australian production company on the policy relating to the Holocaust of the current Lithuanian government will be show on SBS this evening.

Director Marc Radomsky said: “As a storyteller interested in socio-political and character driven subjects, Rewriting History stood out to me as a story that had to be told.

Director Marc Radomsky films Dovid Katz and Holocaust Partisan Fania Brantsovsky in her family’s ghetto

I have always tried to do work that uncovers the stories of real people forced to live with the consequences of the system’s machinations. I believe it’s important that we get to see an alternative view to the “official” perspectives that are put forward in addressing some of the more difficult and confronting challenges we face as a society.”

With a two-tiered structure that follows our four heroes in their contemporary struggle, flashing back in depth to rich and rare archival material from the time, “Rewriting History” tells the ongoing story of the latest threat to Holocaust memory. With David Irving’s much publicized ‘denial movement’ finally discredited, the Lithuanian Government’s new campaign to blur the facts is arguably even more dangerous in its political subtlety that has allowed it access into the European parliament.

Rewriting History presented some challenges in the making.

Rewriting History is a contemporary political story about taking action in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds – a David vs Goliath tale that bears testament to the power of conviction and the importance of fighting for the historical truth.

From the streets of Vilnius, once known as the “Jerusalem of the North” and one of the greatest centres of Jewish life, to a University office in Melbourne Australia, Rewriting History follows two eccentric professors, Danny Ben- Moshe and Dovid Katz, as they take on the might of the Lithuanian government to try and prevent a dark and inconvenient historical truth from being obliterated – that it was Lithuanians themselves who murdered their Jewish neighbours, before the Nazis arrived and imposed their control on the country.

Following a complex and quite obscure contemporary political issue coupled with a little known details and, in the context of WW2 and the Holocaust as a whole, a few seemingly insignificant days of local Lithuanian history, it wasn’t a natural fit for most television schedules.

It was important therefore to find a way to make this issue relevant to a broader audience, to tell a character driven story through which the issue of memory obfuscation could be explored, and have the impact of this important history and it’s contemporary fallout unpacked.

In the 18th century, Edmund Burke said that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. The story of how our unlikely heroes manage, with little or no resources, to slow down the progress of a multi-million Euro Government campaign, raising awareness and even reaching the President of the European Parliament is an inspiring testament to the power of truth and individual conviction.

Dovid and Danny’s struggle isn’t without cost, and the stakes are high. In a world fraught with rising xenophobia, the true memory of the Holocaust serves as a lone deterrent to the rise of right wing political extremism.

I am proud to have been able to tell this story, and to be a part of this critically important campaign to protect the uniqueness of Holocaust memory. I find it disturbing that society chooses to prosecute and victimize those brave individuals who speak out about wrongdoing, above insisting that the errors be corrected. This encourages a world where misinformation has become such an accepted and effective political and social weapon.

This film will hopefully raise awareness and foster a public debate around the rising threats of ultra-nationalism, diminution of free speech and democratic ideals that are sadly, creeping back into the main stream once again, especially in Europe.

As Gert Weiskirchenn, long time German Government Parliamentarian says in the film; “If we do not learn the lessons of History then we can fall into the next historical trap”. This is what Dovid and Danny set out to oppose – two good men taking action to prevent an evil from prevailing.

 

Writer, Director, Editor

Marc Radomsky

Specialising in socio-political and cultural character driven subjects, Marc Radomsky has 18 years experience as a producer, director/DOP and writer of international television. The recipient of nine awards including the Silver Logie, Marc’s work has also screened at numerous international film festivals. Marc continues to direct and produce television programs and series screened locally on Channel Ten, ABC, SBS, ABC Asia Pacific, Foxtel and internationally.

He combines an outstanding documentary sensibility with an understanding of the issues explored in Rewriting History. In ‘Choosing Exile’ (ABC 2002) Marc explored his own personal journey, leaving South Africa to migrate to Australia, also tracing back a parallel journey to his family roots in Lithuania. In ‘Claiming the Memory’ for ABC Compass, following the descendants of Holocaust survivors to the camps of Europe. His films have won many awards locally and internationally.

Following a complex and quite obscure contemporary political issue coupled with a little known details and, in the context of WW2 and the Holocaust as a whole, a few seemingly insignificant days of local Lithuanian history, it wasn’t a natural fit for most television schedules.

It was important therefore to find a way to make this issue relevant to a broader audience, to tell a character driven story through which the issue of memory obfuscation could be explored, and have the impact of this important history and it’s contemporary fallout unpacked.

In the 18th century, Edmund Burke said that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. The story of how our unlikely heroes manage, with little or no resources, to slow down the progress of a multi-million Euro Government campaign, raising awareness and even reaching the President of the European Parliament is an inspiring testament to the power of truth and individual conviction.

Dovid and Danny’s struggle isn’t without cost, and the stakes are high. In a world fraught with rising xenophobia, the true memory of the Holocaust serves as a lone deterrent to the rise of right wing political extremism.

I am proud to have been able to tell this story, and to be a part of this critically important campaign to protect the uniqueness of Holocaust memory. I find it disturbing that society chooses to prosecute and victimize those brave individuals who speak out about wrongdoing, above insisting that the errors be corrected. This encourages a world where misinformation has become such an accepted and effective political and social weapon.

This film will hopefully raise awareness and foster a public debate around the rising threats of ultra-nationalism, diminution of free speech and democratic ideals that are sadly, creeping back into the main stream once again, especially in Europe.

As Gert Weiskirchenn, long time German Government Parliamentarian says in the film; “If we do not learn the lessons of History then we can fall into the next historical trap”. This is what Dovid and Danny set out to oppose – two good men taking action to prevent an evil from prevailing.

 

Writer, Director, Editor

Marc Radomsky

Specialising in socio-political and cultural character driven subjects, Marc Radomsky has 18 years experience as a producer, director/DOP and writer of international television. The recipient of nine awards including the Silver Logie, Marc’s work has also screened at numerous international film festivals. Marc continues to direct and produce television programs and series screened locally on Channel Ten, ABC, SBS, ABC Asia Pacific, Foxtel and internationally.

He combines an outstanding documentary sensibility with an understanding of the issues explored in Rewriting History. In ‘Choosing Exile’ (ABC 2002) Marc explored his own personal journey, leaving South Africa to migrate to Australia, also tracing back a parallel journey to his family roots in Lithuania. In ‘Claiming the Memory’ for ABC Compass, following the descendants of Holocaust survivors to the camps of Europe. His films have won many awards locally and internationally.

The film screens at 9:30pm

Comments

One Response to “Rewriting History”
  1. Lynne Newington says:

    One thing that is the envy of many non-Jews, is the importance of knowing your family roots and in reality, is a bibical concept.
    Unfortunately events of WW11 caused catastrophic upheavels to your world wide community, yet no stone is left unturned to re-unite those connections, even from the grave.
    For many this opportunity is non existant even though in peace time, where children, the fathers and mothers of tomorrow are deprived of knowing theirs due to man made laws preventing those of “another persuasion” to marry, their heir apparents deprived of their rights, and security of the ever important family unit.
    Maybe one day your historical example will sink in.

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