Resistance Film Discussion

Saratoga Jewish Community Arts, with a generous grant from the Jewish Federation of Northeastern NY and sponsored by Temple Sinai of Saratoga Springs, presents the Zoom panel discussion on November 19 at 7 PM of the film Resistance, a 2020 film written and directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz, an Argentinian writer and director of Polish Jewish descent. Those who know about Marcel Marceau (changed from Marcel Mangel) as one of the world’s most famous mimes, might not know about his involvement in the French Resistance that saved thousands of Jewish orphans. The son of a kosher Jewish butcher, who discourages his son’s artistic dreams, Marcel matures from a self-involved brat into a courageous rebel who protects the orphaned children by using his talents for something more important that his own career ambitions. He is not only a skilled mime, but a talented painter. He distracts the children by teaching them to survive and forges the passports to allow escape. Before the end of the film, Marcel and his group have a great deal of traumatic, heartbreaking, and life-threatening experiences. It can be harrowing to watch because there are re-enactments of what millions of Jews and other people went through in real life. And while there were so many who endangered their own lives and that of their families by hiding Jews, an untold number of non-Jews in Nazi-occupied countries betrayed their fellow Jewish citizens by giving up information about them for cash or other rewards. Resistance effectively shows how the culture of complicity allowed the Nazi reign of terror to thrive for as long as it did.

“Marceau truly was a hero who carried a deep sadness into his work,” says Phyllis Wang, Coordinator of SJCA, “and Resistance is an honorable, absorbing homage to the making of a man and his art.” Resistance raises the question: What can cinema take from, and give back to, our understanding of the Holocaust, an event so immeasurable and all but unimaginable that every story about it comes to seem like fiction, and every ending comes across as bogus closing?

Resistance discussion is on November 19 at 7 PM. Registration is required for Resistance. Email for registration.

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[The film may be viewed with a subscription to AMC+ ($8.99/month) or IFC Films Unlimited ($5.99/month); subscribe on services such as Amazon, Apple TV and DirectTV. A DVD is also available at the Saratoga Springs Public Library and may be available at other libraries.]