‘‘The Holocaust is a drug….”
I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors is director Ann Marie Fleming’s animated adaptation of Bernice Eisenstein’s acclaimed illustrated memoir. Through an artful blend of Eisenstein’s drawings, inventive animation and the author’s own voice, the film weaves together personal and global history.
Eisenstein explores her own identity from a past that her parents, both Auschwitz survivors, don’t especially want to talk about. Using the healing power of humour, the film probes the taboos around a very particular second-hand trauma, leading us to a more universal understanding of human experience. The film explores identity and loss through the audacious proposition that the Holocaust is addictive and defining.
I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors shakes up perspectives and conveys to a new generation the continuing legacy of the Second World War, which seared the word genocide into our collective consciousness. This is a poignant and wry exploration of grief, love, acceptance and resilience, through the enduring quality of family bonds.
For Canadian screening dates, please scroll down.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER
Ann Marie Fleming is a Vancouver-based award-winning filmmaker, writer and artist whose work often explores themes of family, history and memory in a continuing media critique. Born in Japan, of Chinese and Australian parentage, she has been obsessed with issues of immigration and diaspora, personal and cultural histories, and how they intersect.
She is known for her work in hybridity, often combining different genres, such as documentary, animation and fiction. Her personal memoir, You Take Care Now, won best experimental student film at the Montreal World Film Festival in 1989 and best short at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Her 1990 documentary, New Shoes: An Interview in Exactly 5 Minutes, won best short film at TIFF, as did Blue Skies, a riff on 9/11, in 2002. Her 2003 animated documentary, The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam, unveiling the history of her great-grandfather, a world-famous travelling acrobat and magician, won various awards across North America. Her subsequent graphic novel of the same name won the Doug Wright Award for best Canadian comic book in 2008 and was nominated for two Eisner Awards. Her dark comedy, The French Guy, won best feature at the Boston Underground Film Festival in 2006. Fleming has made short animated films for CBC’s DNTO and Discovery’s Planet Green network in the United States, and is always up for a karaoke video. I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors is her fourth collaboration with the NFB.
Based on the book, I WAS A CHILD OF HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS, written and illustrated by BERNICE EISENSTEIN
Written and directed by ANN MARIE FLEMING
Animation LILLIAN CHAN, KEVIN LANGDALE, HOWIE SHIA
Narration by BERNICE EISENSTEIN
Original Music and Sound Design NORMAND ROGER, PIERRE YVES DRAPEAU, DENIS CHARTRAND
Executive producers DAVID VERRALL, SILVA BASMAJIAN
Producers MICHAEL FUKUSHIMA, GERRY FLAHIVE
2010 - A NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA PRODUCTION
Calgary International Film Festival
Sunday, October 3 at 12:15 (Globe Theatre)
Vancouver International Film Festival
Monday, October 11 at 3:30 pm (Pacific Cinematheque)
Monday, October 11 at 9:30 pm (Empire Granville 7, Theatre 2)