WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY
by Roberta Grossman
Who Will Write Our History tells the story of Emanuel Ringelblum and the secret archive he created, led, and buried in the Warsaw Ghetto. Members of Oyneg Shabes, the clandestine organization that created the archive, were giants of spiritual resistance who risked their lives so the truth would survive, even if they did not . With 30,000 pages of writing, photographs, posters, etc., the Oyneg Shabes Arc hive is the most important cache of eyewitness accounts to survive the war. It is the Dead Sea Scrolls rising from the rubble of the Warsaw Ghetto
English, Polish, Yiddish
Written, Directed And Produced by Roberta Grossman
Executive Produced by Nancy Spielberg
Ronald S. Lauder, Al Berg, Ori and Mirit Eisen, Anna Rózalska, Philippa Kowarsky
Cinematography by Dyanna Taylor
Edited by Chris Callister, Ondine Rarey
Composer: Todd Boekelheide
Production Design: Frank Gampel, Marek Warszewski
Production Companies: Katahdin Productions, Match&Spark
In association with ARTE, NDR
DIRECTOR - ROBERTA GROSSMAN
An award-winning filmmaker with a passion for history and social justice, Roberta Grossman has written, directed, and produced more than 40 hours of film and television. What sets her films apart are high production values, beautiful cinematic craftsmanship and inspiring protagonists. Grossman’s films tell stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things in the name of justice. According to Grossman, “making a documentary is like pushing Sisyphus’ rock up a steep mountain. The only way to summit is to have a sense of personal responsibility to tell a story that would otherwise remain untold.”
Grossman wrote, produced, and directed Who Will Write Our History, about Emanuel Ringelblum and the secret archive of the Warsaw Ghetto, co-produced by Arte and NDR. Also in 2018, Grossman co-directed and produced the Netflix Original Documentary Seeing Allred, about women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred. Seeing Allred premiered in competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and was described as “remarkably engaging ( The New York Times ), “utterly fascinating” (CNET) and “the perfect companion to the #MeToo movement ( Variety ). Grossman is currently producing All This Life: The Many Worlds of Roman Vishniac.
In 2014, Grossman directed Above and Beyond for producer Nancy Spielberg, about the American-Jewish WWII pilots who volunteered to fight for Israel in the 1948 War. That film won the audience award at more than 20 film festivals worldwide. Grossman’s 2012 Hava Nagila (The Movie , which used the song as a portal into 150 years of Jewish history, culture and spirituality, was the opening or closing night film at more than 30 film festivals. Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh, Grossman’s 2008 film was shortlisted for an Academy Award, won audience awards at 13 film festivals, aired on PBS/Independent Lens and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy.
Grossman also produced Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning , which aired on PBS/American Masters in 2014, and executive produced On the Map in 2016 for director Dani Menkin. Grossman was the series producer and co-writer of 500 Nations, the eight-hour CBS series on Native Americans hosted by Kevin Costner. Her film Homeland: Four Portraits of Native Action , aired on PBS in 2005.
Grossman is the co-founder with Lisa Thomas of the non-profit production company Katahdin Productions. She is a three-time recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and is a panelist for the WGA Documentary Screenplay Awards. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, with a degree in honors in history, and she received an M.A. in film from the American Film Institute.
SELECT FESTIVALS & AWARDS
ROME FILM FEST 2018〡HAMBURG FILM FEST 2018〡SAN FRANCISCO JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL 2018 - AUDIENCE AWARD〡HEARTLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2018〡BOSTON JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL 2018〡NEW YORK JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL 2019〡SAN DIEGO JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL 2019〡BERLINALE 2019
"Vital... immensely important."
- New York Times
"Who Will Write Our History is carefully made, with the production design team working with scholars for six months prior to filming to ensure accuracy. Though its form is complex, including archival scenes that include concentration camp-type footage, the film’s emotional through line is clear and direct."
- Los Angeles Times
"In between interviews with academics (including Samuel Kassow, whose book gives the film its name), Grossman moves with agility among various kinds of source material. We get objective accounts of brutality witnessed on the streets; probing reflections on what extreme hunger does to the psyche; celebrations of people's ability, even in such a time, to produce and appreciate art and music."
- The Hollywood Reporter
"I would go so far as to call it the most important Holocaust movie in decades. Who Will Write Our History is the first Holocaust documentary that centers victim stories along with the written and visual materials they created to document their lives."