“The most remarkable achievement… Individual identity, individual healing, individual transcendence are his subjects. It deserves a much wider audience.” - John Russell in the New York Times
“I am moved by what you are doing, I hope your video will reach many viewers. I hope it will bring them closer to a world they could never enter.” - Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, in a private letter.
- The Face of Jewish Identity for Some Second-Generation European Jews -
For more information, please visit this page: piermarton.info/say-im-a-jew-by-pier-marton-1985-28-min/
The videotape had its premiere in Germany in parallel to Lanzmann's "Shoah," opening at the same Berlin Film Festival. In the US, it has played at the Museum of Modern Art and the Jewish Museum in NYC, among other venues.
"A powerful, short documentary film "Say I’m a Jew"... collages interviews with men and women who, like Marton, are children of European survivors now living in the United States. Those who speak on Marton’s video describe their struggle of carrying the legacy and their rejection and acceptance of their Jewish heritage. The chorus of different voices says things that are hard to say and hard to hear." - Yehudit Shendar, Senior Art Curator at Yad Vashem, Israel
"Pier Marton's videotape, is a litany of faces and voices of European Jews transplanted to America, intensely revealing of the Jewish experience since World War II. This chorus of voices is the post-holocaust generation, born between 1946 and 1957, who inherited the legacy of terror which their parents somehow survived. The difficult confessions are not only of the cruelties suffered, but of the most painful feelings of anger, contempt and shame turned inward and often resulting in self-hatred and alienation. In this series of statements which seem to break a long silence...the theme which surfaces again and again, is the rejection of one's Jewishness because that identity is associated with persecution." - Gary Reynolds, Changing Channels, 1985
Much of Martin Buber's work revolves around the principle that all life is encounter. Another Jewish philosopher, Emmanuel Lévinas, refines this interaction by stating that the meeting with any face implies a distinct responsibility.
In the field of documentary, many filmmakers aim to avoid the so-called "boring talking-heads" of interviews by resorting to the use of "cutaways."
For me the topic in question here warranted a different approach; I wanted neither to distract nor to entertain.
By refusing the technique of cutaways, and insisting on and exploring faces, I was hoping for a memorable face-to-face engagement.
For more information, please contact Pier Marton at piermarton.info

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