Film Screening: Black Flowers and Commandment 613
In the days following Yom Hashoah, experience this documentary double bill evoking the Holocaust and its legacy, screened by New Plaza Cinema at SPSA.
Black Flowers (50 minutes) follows five Israeli Holocaust survivors who channel their childhood trauma into their art. Commandment 613 (23 minutes) explores the work of Rabbi Kevin Hale, a Torah scribe who restores scrolls saved in Czechoslovakia during the Shoah, now distributed around the world.
Each screening will be followed by a Q&A:
April 29: Tammy Federman, director of Black Flowers.
May 1: Miriam Lewin, director of Commandment 613; Rabbi Kevin Hale, Torah scribe; BJ member George Klas, who will speak about BJ’s own Czech scroll.
In Black Flowers, British/Israeli director Tammy Federman illuminates the life and work of five Holocaust survivors: the sculptor Saadya Bahat, who lost his family members in the camps. The multidisciplinary artist Tommy Brayer, who was born in the ghetto and survived due to his mother’s wit and strength. The painter Ruthi Goren, who spent her childhood in an orphanage during the war; Jenny Rozenstein, who reclaims her childhood, which was brutally taken from her, through her colorful, playful paintings; and Esther Goldman, whose embroidery work enabled her and her mother to survive the war. The film is in Hebrew and English, with English subtitles. Watch the trailer.
In Commandment 613, American Rabbi Kevin Hale joyfully practices the sacred craft of Torah restoration, bringing new life to scrolls saved in Czechoslovakia during the Shoah. As his scribal work takes him to communities now entrusted with the scrolls, he reflects on his own path to faith and practice—and the many ways to fulfill the final commandment in the Torah: to write the scroll itself. Interviewees include Rabbi Hale, Sofer STaM; Jeffrey Ohrenstein, Chairman of the Memorial Scrolls Trust in London; concentration camp survivor Frieda Hoffman; and 10-year-old Carolyn E. Learn more about the film on their website.