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Journey Of A Haunted Writer

 

Monday, August 13------Films with a Holocaust theme remain a bottomless pit of fascination for those who still attempt to comprehend the immensity of the tragedy nearly 70 years after the fact. As with any human experience, the power of an individual story is infinitely more moving, fascinating and haunting than the repetition of numbers (in this case, a staggering six million) that the mind can simply not comprehend. A worthy addition to the canon of Holocaust films is the new documentary, PRIMO LEVY'S JOURNEY, written, directed and produced by Davide Ferrario and narrated by Oscar winner Chris Cooper. Following highly praised screenings at film festivals Toronto, Berlin, Rome and LondonPRIMO LEVY'S JOURNEY will open in New York this coming Friday, followed by a national release by specialty distribution The Cinema Guild.

In the winter of 1945, Primo Levi, one the century’s greatest writers, was liberated from the Auschwitz concentration camp. With the war still underway, he embarked on a thousand-mile journey to his home in Turin, Italy – a strange and beguiling odyssey memorialized in his book, The Truce, which was made into a film in 1997 by director Francesco Rosi, with actor John Turturro portraying Levi.. Sixty years later, director Davide Ferrario set out to follow in Levi’s footsteps. Retracing his historic trip through Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Austria, PRIMO LEVI’S JOURNEY weaves a path through a modern Europe that has both changed and remained eerily the same. Incorporating archival footage of Levi with Soviet propaganda newsreels, and injecting the film with a wry sense of humor, Ferrario pays homage to one of the most important post-war writers, marking the 20th anniversary of Levi's death by suicide.

A unique and fiercely independent figure in the Italian film industry, writer-director Davide Ferrario started working in movies in the 1970s as a film critic and also ran a distribution company, which introduced Fassbinder, Wenders and Wajda to the Italian public. He then became an agent for independent American directors such as Jim Jarmusch and John Sayles. After making his directorial debut in 1989 with THE END OF THE NIGHT, he went on to make award-winning fiction films and documentaries that have been shown at festivals around the world, including Berlin, Sundance, Venice, Locarno and Toronto

The individual courage and the artistic inspiration of this celebrated (and tortured) artist remains an inspiration in our modern world that still sits by while genocide rages in Africa and senseless violence becomes the norm in Europe and the Middle East. As the cliche goes, those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it. For Levi, and the other survivors of Europe's internecine hell, the lessons learned are critical for an appreciation of the past and transformation of the future.

Sandy Mandelberger, Coming Attractions Editor

 

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About Coming Attractions

Sandy Mandelberger
(International Media Resources)

Previews of Upcoming Films, Videos and New Media Coming To Theaters, Festivals, DVD and the Internet.


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