Inspired by stories from the aftermath of director Mark Rosenblatt’s own family’s Holocaust survival, the award-winning and Oscar-qualified short film GANEF (2020) explores, through the tiniest of domestic details, the subtle and complicated impact of trauma on the next generation. The film, set in London in 1962, centers on a little girl, spooked by a dark tale from her mother’s Holocaust past, who starts to believe her adored cleaner is a thief. It stars Lydia Wilson, Izabella Dziewanska, and Downton Abbey’s Sophie McShera.
A post-screening discussion with the team behind the film was moderated by Dr. Irit Felsen, a clinical psychologist with extensive experience working with Holocaust survivors and their families.
Watch the film here via the streaming platform Omeleto. It will remain available until December 16, 2021.
Watch the discussion below.
This program’s original recording transcript is below. This transcription was created automatically during a live program so may contain inaccurate transcriptions of some words.
Irit Felsen: So I watched this film before, as you know, and still I find it so utterly utterly captivating and such an immersive experience.
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Irit Felsen: it's a beautiful film.
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Irit Felsen: And it captures so brilliantly some of the nuanced and and complex ways in which, in which all kinds of things are transmitted in the daily interactions and family life, from generation to generation.
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Irit Felsen: So I wanted to first of all congratulate you for such a beautiful beautiful accomplishment and to ask you, you know we see an empirical research.
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Irit Felsen: That there is still transmission to the third generation, but the transmission is different, its manifestations are different.
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Irit Felsen: And I guess that's what our conversation we'll talk we'll touch upon this way or another, but can you first tell us a little bit about your own families your own histories and what brought you to be.
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Irit Felsen: interested and when did it start your interest in the experience of your parents, the second generation for this movie is about actually the Second Generation Students.
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Irit Felsen: ruthie is a is a is a second generation and her parents are somewhere in the 60s right, not that long after the end of World War Two please whoever wants to start.
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Mark Rosenblatt: Thank you area as well, thank you for, for your kind words and I really appreciate it, and thanks for I mean it means a lot, because your your work is so deeply about this that it's hugely validating to hear you respond so strongly to it um.
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Mark Rosenblatt: yeah I mean I grew up, and I mean I mean i'm British I grew up Jewish in the 80s in suburban North London and I guess the trauma of the Holocaust was never far from view in my family, and I might my my ground particular my my mother's side.
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Mark Rosenblatt: My my grandmother was born in frankfort like misses her and she she thankfully wasn't in the camps, but she was on the run for most of the war as a sort of young as a goal and.
00:19:55.530 --> 00:20:08.730
Mark Rosenblatt: trump migrated all over Europe to answer to the south of France over the mountains into Italy and ended up in the in Rome pretending to be a Catholic.
00:20:09.360 --> 00:20:22.590
Mark Rosenblatt: In a Convent where a couple of nuns knew her true identity, so you know I began to absorb those stories around the Friday night table from a woman who you know, really.
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Mark Rosenblatt: didn't feel that this was a story worth telling I mean it, you know the kind of.
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Mark Rosenblatt: The kind of story, that is, you know beyond beyond anything that any of us, thankfully, may have to go through to her felt like.
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Mark Rosenblatt: You know, and nothing oh don't ask me about our you know and i'm sure other people have heard that that sense that there's three is somehow.
00:20:46.920 --> 00:20:57.900
Mark Rosenblatt: It I later I guess realize that that was the low self esteem in a way the tinge that the her sense of low self esteem that came from the war was almost an expression of her survival.
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Mark Rosenblatt: But I also yeah for me growing up was also about the people that weren't there the missing great uncles and aunts and cousins people that I didn't know and we'll never know and.
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Mark Rosenblatt: And some of the stretton I guess some of the behavioral patterns, you know my grandmother, for instance, you know she she lived a very comfortable life and and and a very happy life, but she you know there were things that she brought.
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Mark Rosenblatt: With her like you know she would cross the road from a uniform from uniform to people, she would.
00:21:33.720 --> 00:21:43.080
Mark Rosenblatt: avoid certain things she didn't feel comfortable being in tax season, you know who knows how much of that was just her and how much of that came from from from before so.
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Mark Rosenblatt: And then, in the wider family, there were you know I have distinct memories as a child of seeing you know, a relative roll up our sleeves as a nice.
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Mark Rosenblatt: tea party at my parents house to pour some tea and see her her concentration camps or two, and these incongruities I think.
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Mark Rosenblatt: we're very striking at even as a young child that you know, and then you ask you connect the dots and you, you discover that that particular relative was in Auschwitz, and that she.
00:22:13.380 --> 00:22:27.600
Mark Rosenblatt: Was you know in selections to you know we found a photograph that very woman in selections that Mengele was undertaking and and you know these crazy juxtapositions of of of postwar.
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Mark Rosenblatt: settled life and the hell that people have gone through on across the spectrum of survival, so I don't know if i'm answering your question but that's what i'm absorbing growing up, and I, I think that that the film is in part and attempt to.
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Mark Rosenblatt: show that off them off in a in a in a in and to explore what life was like be you know the War did not end in 1945 the Holocaust did not end in 1945, but it was an ongoing process.
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Mark Rosenblatt: And yeah.
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Irit Felsen: I think that that is a fantastic answer.
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Irit Felsen: To my question mark because it's it's exactly.
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Irit Felsen: The way you say it.
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Irit Felsen: That thing that I speak about is the dual reality of the survivors.
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Irit Felsen: And the children in their lives, after the war for the survivors and for the children, obviously, for born after the words begin with yes, these two realities that continue to exist, all the time.
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Irit Felsen: The reality related to the trauma and the reality of the tea party, the Nice tea party it at the relatives beautiful home in northern London yes.
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Irit Felsen: Very different realities incongruent with one another, one in which there are inconceivable things that happened, and the one, and I think it's captured so poignant in that moment.
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Irit Felsen: When the mother, who is kind of.
00:24:00.330 --> 00:24:09.300
Irit Felsen: really not very emotionally available for the child in that moment, and really wants to go to sleep and finally does say the thing about the gun.
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Irit Felsen: And the girl goes is the gun of coming here and man's like, no, no, no, the income royalty of these two realities and how those fragments are transmitted and deposited in and shatter really the reality of the simple reality of the world if.
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Irit Felsen: She could have had one yeah.
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Irit Felsen: yeah sorry, what do you what you would want to share with us about your background and what brought you to make this film.
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Suri Ellerton: And yes, thank you um well my yeah my grandparents on my father's side were both Holocaust survivors my grandmother.
00:24:50.850 --> 00:25:05.250
Suri Ellerton: was one of eight children and grew up right outside of Auschwitz and five of those siblings died in the war and one of her baby nephew died her parents or grandparents, you know huge amounts of the family and.
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Suri Ellerton: I don't I honestly don't even remember the first time that I knew about these stories because it, it was just.
00:25:14.610 --> 00:25:21.180
Suri Ellerton: So much so part of our upbringing my middle name is Ruth my brother's middle name is Mendel and we knew we were.
00:25:21.510 --> 00:25:29.790
Suri Ellerton: named after these those that perished, and we didn't know every detail, but we knew that something terrible it happened to her, her and her family from very young.
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Suri Ellerton: But in terms of the details of what happened, she was very private about it and kept it really internally and and even my father growing up didn't know really what had happened to her.
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Suri Ellerton: What camp, she was in anything she really kept it to herself, and it was only when the third generation my generation had you know book reports so.
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Suri Ellerton: The Holocaust that we were you know where we were told go interview a survivor and you know my grandmother was a survivor so I I interviewed my grandmother.
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Suri Ellerton: Did she finally start telling us some of those details, you know, being in various camps being on death march to Auschwitz escaping and living in the woods.
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Suri Ellerton: You know she found that on the on the march house which they stopped for a night and there was a hole that she saw in the gate.
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Suri Ellerton: Where they were sleeping and she grabbed she wanted to grab her cousin who was too afraid to go.
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Suri Ellerton: So she ended up grabbing a stranger and the two girls, you know escaped and we're living in the woods and living, you know very difficult two years trying to survive.
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Suri Ellerton: And even I mean, even with that I know that there were so many details, I mean she's passed Now a few years ago, but.
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Suri Ellerton: That I still don't know because she just wasn't ever able to bring herself to.
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Suri Ellerton: Talk about them, and I remember, she was offered an opportunity, I think, to be part of spielberg's show our project, and she didn't want to do that, like she just really held it very close to her chest, and so.
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Suri Ellerton: You know my I know that she Mike Father says that he remembers her having nightmares and you know things like that, but her way of dealing with it was very much keeping it.
00:27:06.600 --> 00:27:13.710
Suri Ellerton: Inside so I actually really identified when I read the scripts that mark sent me I identified that kind of.
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Suri Ellerton: Take it in go to sleep, you know, take the pills whatever you know that that felt.
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Suri Ellerton: very much like my grandmother so and I guess in certain ways I actually also tend to avoid subjects Holocaust subjects, because it feels you know so painful for me.
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Suri Ellerton: And, and you know, seeing any anything to do with anti semitism any of that just really you know freaks me out because it just feels so close to home.
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Suri Ellerton: And, but when mark shared it with me and mark and I have had you know, had a good relationship before that I just said, you know this feels fitting, and I wanted to do it for her.
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Irit Felsen: yeah well it's it's truly remarkable.
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Irit Felsen: That that you did manage to do it, and it was well worth effort, the outcome definitely I hope justifies the pain.
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Irit Felsen: And I think that what you touch upon is a very important piece, you know my very good friend and and colleague.
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Irit Felsen: Dr Doreen loud passed away a few a couple of years ago was himself the child survivor and he has he he wrote a lot about his work with survivors and he said that this knowledge that we have, and now you say the knowledge that you have the third generation.
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Irit Felsen: it's not in information or knowledge we don't know when we started knowing it, we don't know.
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Irit Felsen: details and, in fact, as I often see in in clients and friends that I need people don't often know actually.
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Irit Felsen: Very important pieces of the facts and the timeline is all jumbled it's really not a historical information or knowledge, when we say we always knew like you said, we always knew that something terrible happened to her and to her family.
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Irit Felsen: it's really an experiential knowledge of something that goes through, and is being transmitted in these locks and I think mark, by the way the.
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Irit Felsen: The facial expressions of the woman who played misses her are remarkable in this way she really did a beautiful job.
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Irit Felsen: of transmitting a lot in the games in the turn of the head in the liberal expressions of the of the facial muscles, this is how it's transmitted it's not by facts or information about the whole of us and it's from the age of nothing remember the movie yes.
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Irit Felsen: So tell me a little bit more about what did it feel like for you to make this thing to try to communicate to the actress What was your experience was like and also.
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Irit Felsen: If you would like to say something about why you chose to focus on the second generation experience, rather than on your experience as the third generation.
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Mark Rosenblatt: Well yeah I mean I, I think that we, I mean it's set in obviously it's set in the 60s.
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Mark Rosenblatt: And we.
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Mark Rosenblatt: And it felt to me very important somehow to show a survivor as a young woman.
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Mark Rosenblatt: I think we are so.
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Mark Rosenblatt: used to seeing survivors as much all the people if it's all enough, you know and increasingly unfortunately not around anymore.
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Mark Rosenblatt: And and somehow, I think it in a way it lets us off the hook, because an older.
00:30:51.720 --> 00:31:02.220
Mark Rosenblatt: person feel makes a younger person feel well, this is a long time ago, but to see that felt an important image, a woman in her 30s with a tattoo on her arm.
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Mark Rosenblatt: And also, I think I was conscious that in order for this film dramatically to work for the cleaner the housekeeper to not know really not know what what what what this the context of this family was she it needed to be set before the time when survivors had begun to talk.
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Mark Rosenblatt: This is.
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Mark Rosenblatt: The time when, in the early 60s, I mean, I guess, things are starting to shift, because the human trial is, I think, just happened in the real world around this film, but the sense that society had not yet validated.
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Mark Rosenblatt: Or have not even really truly acknowledged what had happened to these people meant that those people were inhibited from speaking and and I became aware even researching it that in that period, even.
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Mark Rosenblatt: couples husbands and wives didn't he really had both I didn't really talk to each other about it, there was such a shame, even.
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Mark Rosenblatt: You know that you put it behind you and you know, in the context of a world where there's much less counseling available, you know a lot of those pieces felt important, so it needed to be set set then and.
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Mark Rosenblatt: Otherwise I think later sort of post in a way potion there's less people are you know my grandmother is sitting at the Friday night table and her story is being sort of teased from her by you know hung.
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Mark Rosenblatt: Extreme astounded grandchildren, who are wanting to know what on earth their grandmother what happened to her.
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Mark Rosenblatt: So yeah I thought I think that was very important times of the setting and and I guess also arrange.
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Mark Rosenblatt: That ruthie the little girl is not my mother and if she's watching she may be watching i'm not suggesting for a second, that is specifically her, but you know i'm very.
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Mark Rosenblatt: You know very well, for instance, with my mother that you know her commitment to she's been very committed to.
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Mark Rosenblatt: The memorial memorializing and commemorates commemorating actually you know you were talking about information being gathered.
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Mark Rosenblatt: In pieces and sometimes on chronologically when my mom is really pulled our family history together in real chronology and is constantly looking for.
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Mark Rosenblatt: The fragments and the the missing pieces of the jigsaw in in some ways, I think that desire is connected to move to memorial to Memorial, in a very in a very.
00:33:24.810 --> 00:33:36.870
Mark Rosenblatt: political sense like sheep my mother is very, very aware that there is a counter narrative that this did not happen or that in some ways, this is some crazy story told by.
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Mark Rosenblatt: Jews in X, you know quotation marks to have some you know, create some sort of get something, and so, actually, I think the pulling together of these stories, for her is a way of.
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Mark Rosenblatt: Fighting you know this happens is not just having into our family but it happening with the with with the I guess the.
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Mark Rosenblatt: Fortunately, not they're not being direct first generation survivors to say that we need, you know that information, why is that relevant ruthie i'm not entirely sure, but I I do sense in ruthie something just aware of how my mother may be.
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Mark Rosenblatt: You know, received that my mother as a second generation survivor you know entire life something and sort to counter it in some way through the work in her life.
00:34:28.770 --> 00:34:34.740
Mark Rosenblatt: And ruthie is very different, because she she her journey and the film is from love to.
00:34:34.740 --> 00:34:48.180
Mark Rosenblatt: Fear she she moves from physical connection to this woman that she loves this housekeepers she plays with to being locked in a cupboard unable to be touched by her and fearing her very movement.
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Mark Rosenblatt: And so, for roofing I think the journey of the film is really as, as I hope it's clear is is about the the impact of trauma on on on.
00:34:59.940 --> 00:35:16.200
Mark Rosenblatt: On people on relationships that it is constricting and that it is it you know it stops you connecting it's designed to divide you, you know um so anyway, those are sort of two long answers to questions I don't know if i've answered your question but.
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Irit Felsen: Well, and I think you make a question again beautifully because.
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Irit Felsen: First of all, starting with the last point you made is you know.
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Some of my colleagues.
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Irit Felsen: Smoking in slava from Israel spoke about the creation of the hostile world.
00:35:34.860 --> 00:35:38.220
Irit Felsen: split or world scenario, which is what you're.
00:35:38.250 --> 00:35:40.620
Irit Felsen: Talking about that it installs in.
00:35:41.100 --> 00:35:53.280
Irit Felsen: These insecurities and these these these suspicious expectations about what people are like people are like and it destroys the capacity.
00:35:53.670 --> 00:36:00.330
Irit Felsen: For that open hearted enjoy for connection that she had with the cleaner before.
00:36:00.480 --> 00:36:02.010
Irit Felsen: Right and then, of course.
00:36:02.730 --> 00:36:04.200
Irit Felsen: gets generalized.
00:36:05.040 --> 00:36:11.880
Irit Felsen: to other relationships, except the show that so beautifully in this particular diet of the girl, and the cleaner.
00:36:11.970 --> 00:36:14.850
Irit Felsen: Yes, I think it was brilliant.
00:36:14.910 --> 00:36:18.720
Irit Felsen: Actually, to go back to the survivors as young people.
00:36:19.110 --> 00:36:24.480
Irit Felsen: Because, even though there are some of these older movies that show survivors is young people like.
00:36:24.480 --> 00:36:31.860
Irit Felsen: sophie's choice and other ones, they were done a long time ago and for the generations growing up today.
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Irit Felsen: The survivors, or maybe these older people and, like you said that makes it a little bit too far.
00:36:38.310 --> 00:36:44.580
Irit Felsen: away it's easier for us to really grasp something when it's about people.
00:36:44.580 --> 00:36:46.260
Irit Felsen: Who are more our age.
00:36:46.650 --> 00:36:48.120
Irit Felsen: So it's very important that.
00:36:48.120 --> 00:36:52.020
Irit Felsen: You actually went back to people who are like your age.
00:36:52.260 --> 00:36:53.280
Irit Felsen: For the young people.
00:36:53.490 --> 00:36:58.260
Irit Felsen: Of today yeah and and the end before the cultural.
00:36:58.920 --> 00:37:00.210
Mark Rosenblatt: context changed.
00:37:00.690 --> 00:37:04.740
Irit Felsen: and made it so much more open, so you are also speaking about that.
00:37:05.670 --> 00:37:06.570
Irit Felsen: The importance.
00:37:06.630 --> 00:37:12.000
Irit Felsen: Of the attitudes in this in the wider social context to help people can.
00:37:12.030 --> 00:37:19.080
Irit Felsen: deal with a former so maybe sorry and you would like to speak a little bit about that I know that's very important.
00:37:19.080 --> 00:37:19.470
Mark Rosenblatt: To me.
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Irit Felsen: In terms of the impact of thing.
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Suri Ellerton: So the question is just about how it affects the wider world of trauma.
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Irit Felsen: So how the attitudes at what you would like actually to communicate through the movie with a film about the importance of the attitudes around the trauma survivors, the wider cultural context.
00:37:47.040 --> 00:37:49.530
Irit Felsen: To to help people can be without fall.
00:37:50.580 --> 00:38:00.480
Suri Ellerton: yeah and what we when we made the film, you know, obviously we have our own personal connection to World War Two in the Holocaust specifically.
00:38:01.200 --> 00:38:10.470
Suri Ellerton: But we really wanted to speak to a larger audience, who would understand trauma trauma is not unique to the Jewish people I mean we have a lot of it.
00:38:11.070 --> 00:38:19.500
Suri Ellerton: But it's not unique to us and and there are a lot of you know, different groups of people that have been through major traumas and actually it was funny when.
00:38:19.800 --> 00:38:21.030
Suri Ellerton: mark and I were opening up.
00:38:21.030 --> 00:38:34.140
Suri Ellerton: The production bank account, we had a a woman who was speaking to us, we were telling her about the film and she said Oh, my goodness, I you know she I can't remember what was her to remember what her background was mark.
00:38:35.310 --> 00:38:37.980
Mark Rosenblatt: Just choose from a Pakistan.
00:38:38.430 --> 00:38:52.950
Suri Ellerton: yeah yeah so she was just talking about her father and about how how this would really speak to her father and and the things that her family had been through so it, you know we always kind of had an eye towards that that wider world view of.
00:38:54.150 --> 00:39:09.840
Suri Ellerton: You know that trauma can affect anybody and and and the the impact of that over generations is is not small and I know, mark you had been speaking when we chatted before to read about how that might impact on politics and.
00:39:10.740 --> 00:39:15.660
Suri Ellerton: And and about decisions that world leaders make about you know we.
00:39:16.320 --> 00:39:29.130
Suri Ellerton: We have to think about the long term effects, not just you know that the immediate people that have been gone going through this trauma the effects continue on for generations, and that is something to be taken into consideration yeah.
00:39:29.850 --> 00:39:30.810
Mark Rosenblatt: Mark died, I mean.
00:39:31.560 --> 00:39:41.490
Mark Rosenblatt: I thought yeah I mean I I don't want to make any claim that this film is you know, seeking to correct great you know great things and terrible things in the world, but.
00:39:41.970 --> 00:39:48.720
Mark Rosenblatt: First of all, you know it is a domestic you know it is, it is a domestic film and the detail.
00:39:49.380 --> 00:40:01.080
Mark Rosenblatt: ELENA is is is trying to express that everyone in that film is compromised by by by this trauma this traumatic experience everyone from you know the housekeeper to the child to the mothers, you know everyone is.
00:40:01.530 --> 00:40:06.930
Mark Rosenblatt: That behavior is compromised by this is what trauma does it changes the behavior of people.
00:40:07.650 --> 00:40:15.240
Mark Rosenblatt: Without eat without those people really even knowing it's happening it's instinctive it creates mistrust and and division.
00:40:15.660 --> 00:40:19.590
Mark Rosenblatt: And disconnection but yeah as I was saying, I also feel like.
00:40:20.070 --> 00:40:30.330
Mark Rosenblatt: Beyond the you know the specifics of the Holocaust I I do feel enraged when I see any kind of systemic violence against the Community as i'm sure we all do.
00:40:30.630 --> 00:40:37.140
Mark Rosenblatt: But just the kind of blind the sort of almost willful ignorance of governments who may be an act back kind of violence.
00:40:38.040 --> 00:40:55.290
Mark Rosenblatt: They are the problem does not result that you know the damage does not Wayne away in five years, it goes on and on and on every time you know some violence is launched it against a group of people that family that communities behavior will be reshaped for generations to come.
00:40:55.590 --> 00:41:05.910
Mark Rosenblatt: And the fact that we don't address that in the wider kind of in wider discussion, I think, is deliberate, I think it is deliberate Lee quiet and it's not a very.
00:41:06.630 --> 00:41:17.970
Mark Rosenblatt: Dare I say a sexy things discuss the kind of domestic implications of violence for the generations that follow but it's also inconvenient for politicians to discuss it, because it makes the decision to.
00:41:19.470 --> 00:41:33.720
Mark Rosenblatt: Go to to enact violence even you know, without discussing it becomes easier to do it, it liberates people because they don't have to think about the the kind of you know, the the long term view of what they're about to do.
00:41:34.980 --> 00:41:40.560
Mark Rosenblatt: And you know you see it in our Community and and and many, many, many, many communities, unfortunately.
00:41:41.190 --> 00:41:53.310
Irit Felsen: Right and, in fact, you know this concept that that the in the generation of damage it goes actually further than the first generation even.
00:41:53.670 --> 00:42:03.750
Irit Felsen: took a long, long time to be acknowledged, even by mental health professionals, yes, it took a long time to acknowledge intergenerational transmission to the children of survivors.
00:42:04.110 --> 00:42:16.680
Irit Felsen: which we now see not only in all of our families, but in many other more recent for mike's both groups and in descendants of other trauma survivors the generations later it's.
00:42:16.770 --> 00:42:30.660
Irit Felsen: Really yeah so as we have only three more minutes or so before we like to open it for questions and comments from the audience could each of you tell me what would you hope.
00:42:31.200 --> 00:42:43.230
Irit Felsen: To communicate to the fourth generation and to the generations that come, mark you have a new baby fourth generation join the family, yes and.
00:42:43.740 --> 00:42:54.720
Irit Felsen: And and others what would you like to communicate further from your experiences as descendants of trauma survivors and what would you not want to communicate better.
00:42:56.760 --> 00:43:06.900
Suri Ellerton: And i'll speak a, so I am I feel like the obviously I think remember remembering the Alpha is something that.
00:43:07.500 --> 00:43:17.220
Suri Ellerton: is very important to me, personally, I know mark mentioned his mom is very active and you know it's important mark as well, and that is something that we do have to continue as the.
00:43:17.880 --> 00:43:29.010
Suri Ellerton: You know generation of survivors who are essentially all gone and it's important to keep that conversation going and I I would extend it to say as well that.
00:43:31.320 --> 00:43:34.620
Suri Ellerton: Using that knowledge of what happened to us as Jewish people.
00:43:35.790 --> 00:43:46.980
Suri Ellerton: To also have empathy and be be proactive about what else is happening in the world, I know era, you said also wanted to call that we had before that.
00:43:48.780 --> 00:44:02.880
Suri Ellerton: That our generation, one of the hallmarks is like the social justice and wanting it to you know wanting to put that forward and that it shouldn't happen to anyone else, and I do think you know, remembering our own history, making sure that other people remember our own history but also.
00:44:04.770 --> 00:44:16.140
Suri Ellerton: being proactive about making sure that the rest of the world is not being put into any type of suffering and that we've we've gone through and yeah What about you mark.
00:44:17.610 --> 00:44:23.490
Mark Rosenblatt: No, I mean I you know all of all of that, but then I also think you know i'm.
00:44:26.040 --> 00:44:36.720
Mark Rosenblatt: I think we just have to acknowledge that it's in us and and that it could we could transmit it, you know and and we just have to be mindful of what we're transmitting you know that it's not people don't consciously transmit it.
00:44:37.350 --> 00:44:41.130
Mark Rosenblatt: You know it's it's in the stories we tell about who are you know and.
00:44:42.600 --> 00:44:51.450
Mark Rosenblatt: You know whether it's telling how we tell the story of if we you know observe, so you know at the seder, how do we frame that story.
00:44:52.080 --> 00:45:04.200
Mark Rosenblatt: can be affected by the experience of the Holocaust and if, when you're telling that story to your son or your daughter, it is possible to frame it in a way that is, frankly, you know terrifying to them.
00:45:04.770 --> 00:45:14.970
Mark Rosenblatt: And and and and we had to have to consider what what we're saying in those moments, and how easy it is for that young person to internalize.
00:45:15.570 --> 00:45:21.990
Mark Rosenblatt: A story that's being used as a kind of analogy, for now, or what happened to our family and and how we want them to.
00:45:22.620 --> 00:45:32.430
Mark Rosenblatt: Do we want them to be so scared that they that they that they are inhibited about connection, or do we, you know how do we handle that conversation I think.
00:45:33.180 --> 00:45:43.740
Mark Rosenblatt: And I you know I don't have the answers I just think it's just you know let's be aware that it's it's with us, and we have to tread carefully and and self awareness, if you know with self awareness.
00:45:43.950 --> 00:45:50.550
Suri Ellerton: And more conversations like this as well and and to learn, because you know thinking about that you know my kids are very young.
00:45:51.000 --> 00:45:55.650
Suri Ellerton: As their your is mark, but so we haven't had to like break those conversations yet, but.
00:45:56.100 --> 00:46:13.680
Suri Ellerton: I would love to hear from someone like you read before I do that, and you know and just hear what might be the best way to do that, because it is a really tricky thing to do we want to keep the generations remembering but also yeah not be passing down such trauma that.
00:46:13.740 --> 00:46:17.040
Suri Ellerton: We can't move forward and be healthy people.
00:46:17.310 --> 00:46:18.060
00:46:19.290 --> 00:46:35.220
Irit Felsen: So, before we start, I just want to tell you that I am amazed at the at the perceptiveness and insightful and really rich discussion that that you that you offered us.
00:46:35.850 --> 00:46:42.510
Irit Felsen: And I want to say that as a as someone who has very young children still.
00:46:43.410 --> 00:46:52.800
Irit Felsen: We will continue speaking about something that I want to share with you but i'll just mentioned the work of a colleague of mine at the police beatings from Columbia University.
00:46:53.310 --> 00:47:03.780
Irit Felsen: And a picture book of mother infant interactions which she created based on her work with the mothers, among which.
00:47:04.440 --> 00:47:14.730
Irit Felsen: Some of them I worked with in in the aftermath of September 11 mothers who gave birth to babies after their husbands working.
00:47:15.690 --> 00:47:26.490
Irit Felsen: and obviously they were in grief and mourning and in acute trauma, so the thing that you're trying to stress mark is so important that survivors.
00:47:27.000 --> 00:47:38.970
Irit Felsen: communicate this the sentence of survivors communicate this we have to know that we do and it's communicated not only by the stories it's also communicated by what by what people tried not to say.
00:47:39.630 --> 00:47:48.900
Irit Felsen: It was also communicated and the question is of self awareness and or being able to process your it's not just awareness.
00:47:49.230 --> 00:48:02.040
Irit Felsen: it's being able to process our own trauma so that it's in a better place, and for that we need the acknowledgement and the support of the environment around us, we cannot do it alone.
00:48:02.940 --> 00:48:18.960
Irit Felsen: And that is why these conversations on the public arena in various ways are so important because survivors cannot just by being aware of the trauma contain it, they need to process it, they need the support of the environment around it.
00:48:19.740 --> 00:48:30.000
Irit Felsen: So thank you so very, very much for this jewel of the movie over failing and let's open it up to the audience comments Thank you so much.
00:48:30.150 --> 00:48:30.780
Suri Ellerton: Thank you Andy.
00:48:32.430 --> 00:48:44.430
Ari Goldstein: you read there's a couple comments and questions from audience numbers that relate to ruthie that young actress did an amazing job, can you share a little bit about what it was like working with her in that role.
00:48:46.110 --> 00:48:51.090
Mark Rosenblatt: yeah I mean she absolutely she she was amazing I mean we we she was five.
00:48:52.800 --> 00:48:53.400
Mark Rosenblatt: and
00:48:54.810 --> 00:49:04.170
Mark Rosenblatt: Six when we shot the film and you know I i'm naive enough as a filmmaker to have written a film or you know centered around a six year old girl.
00:49:05.430 --> 00:49:22.950
Mark Rosenblatt: And when I arrived on set I was like a really was confronting the worry that you know she might not understand no in film we don't obviously you don't shoot and sequence, so you know for a six year old five six year old girl to play moment to moment and shooting in you know in.
00:49:23.010 --> 00:49:23.820
Mark Rosenblatt: out of order.
00:49:24.000 --> 00:49:34.080
Mark Rosenblatt: I was really worried, it would throw her and she'd only done some modeling and and I just said to her, I tried to explain it and she's she's like sure sure yeah you know.
00:49:34.530 --> 00:49:40.440
Mark Rosenblatt: there's an editor and they just we just they just reshuffle it back in order, and I was just like okay we're going to be okay.
00:49:41.040 --> 00:49:56.070
Mark Rosenblatt: She was wonderful and her energy was you know kind of mischievous and and and sparky and and sometimes like you know as a five year old can be a six year old crazy on set, but then, when she was in front of camera, as you can see from what she's doing she's really an actor.
00:49:56.100 --> 00:50:06.270
Mark Rosenblatt: she's hostessing thought she's playing in the present moment, and she is talking over you know pop talking to those I didn't feel like I was having to.
00:50:07.500 --> 00:50:14.250
Mark Rosenblatt: move her from A to B to C, it was it was a it was a person that was a character really in the room.
00:50:14.850 --> 00:50:15.300
00:50:16.500 --> 00:50:28.860
Suri Ellerton: Doing wonderful yeah now she was doing some method acting there's you remember, she was like Oh, this is how I have to feel this is how I felt sad when I did something lost my cat or something you remember, she is.
00:50:28.920 --> 00:50:29.700
Mark Rosenblatt: yeah yeah.
00:50:30.240 --> 00:50:32.160
Suri Ellerton: yeah amazing brilliant.
00:50:32.940 --> 00:50:34.620
Irit Felsen: yeah really yeah.
00:50:34.950 --> 00:50:49.950
Ari Goldstein: The audience comments on the scene of ruthie in her room surrounded by toys and says, perhaps her mother gives you all those towards because she knows, she can be there for her enough it is that what you guys were going for that sense of overcompensation.
00:50:51.600 --> 00:50:51.960
Mark Rosenblatt: Make.
00:50:53.910 --> 00:51:06.360
Mark Rosenblatt: You know, maybe I hadn't consciously thought of that, but that would be absolutely right, I mean the mother is on it is unable to properly interact and and doesn't you know needs her daughter, to be somewhere else.
00:51:07.050 --> 00:51:13.500
Mark Rosenblatt: And I think on a storytelling level we needed to make the contrast in her room between.
00:51:14.400 --> 00:51:25.320
Mark Rosenblatt: The toys being there and the toys being locked away when the cleaner comes in very striking but, but also more more than anything, I think she's got we needed to show she was a goal.
00:51:25.770 --> 00:51:34.560
Mark Rosenblatt: of imagination and that you know her room was like you know, and when we first dress that room and all the the toys, it was very nice like it almost like a.
00:51:35.070 --> 00:51:45.540
Mark Rosenblatt: Like a Victorian dope a toy box sort of a doll house and I just messed it up this girl is not she's you know dinosaurs are fighting Barbie dolls and everything is you know.
00:51:47.520 --> 00:51:57.450
Mark Rosenblatt: crashed around the room there's been a war there's been a battle so she's so that we could understand that this is a girl of imagination and a girl who could misconstrue things yeah.
00:51:59.640 --> 00:52:04.200
Irit Felsen: misconstrue or create her own connections.
00:52:04.230 --> 00:52:05.730
Yes, when things.
00:52:07.050 --> 00:52:07.890
Mark Rosenblatt: yeah exactly.
00:52:09.150 --> 00:52:15.270
Ari Goldstein: Nikki asks besides working with us, you mentioned what was the biggest challenge in the filmmaking process.
00:52:19.410 --> 00:52:20.010
Mark Rosenblatt: um.
00:52:20.400 --> 00:52:21.510
Suri Ellerton: question I was.
00:52:22.530 --> 00:52:23.100
Mark Rosenblatt: Going sorry.
00:52:23.460 --> 00:52:31.980
Suri Ellerton: No, I will I will certainly working with receipt just in terms of not just because she's young and you have to communicate things but because on from a production standpoint.
00:52:32.400 --> 00:52:36.120
Suri Ellerton: We had very few hours, we were legally allowed to work with her so.
00:52:36.780 --> 00:52:47.610
Suri Ellerton: Our schedule was like very tight and you know we were shooting things up until like the last second and then you know few times asking people to stay over because you know we needed to work around.
00:52:48.510 --> 00:52:59.790
Suri Ellerton: Her you know what what we were allowed to do so that that was very difficult um But aside from that we had a really fantastic crew i'm sorry mark, did you want to add.
00:53:01.500 --> 00:53:05.610
Mark Rosenblatt: No, I mean for me for me it's the first original film that I, as I say, it's the.
00:53:05.970 --> 00:53:13.890
Mark Rosenblatt: Direct some things before it's the first time i've written written something original and personal and made it and I think for me that almost the biggest challenge was.
00:53:14.880 --> 00:53:25.860
Mark Rosenblatt: Just committing to making it, you know writing it in the first place just getting over you know those inhibitions about writing and then you know, like going on the journey like really.
00:53:26.220 --> 00:53:34.110
Mark Rosenblatt: doing it doing it turning a script sending a script to surgery into you know, a three and a half day shoot yeah.
00:53:36.270 --> 00:53:44.340
Ari Goldstein: I know that there's some audience Members who missed the film at the beginning, or would like to watch it again, what are your plans for wider distribution and where can people see it.
00:53:45.120 --> 00:53:52.950
Suri Ellerton: And it's great question we're going to be up on a platform called a mulatto maybe we can write it somewhere in.
00:53:53.370 --> 00:53:54.510
Irit Felsen: I could put it in chat.
00:53:54.720 --> 00:54:12.600
Suri Ellerton: In the chat yeah but it's a it's a short short film screening platform it'll be up from the end of this week for about a month, so you'll have a month that you can rewatch it there and then we'll see somewhere else, possibly but that's where we'll be yeah yeah thanks mark.
00:54:13.260 --> 00:54:17.550
Ari Goldstein: Thanks mark and we'll make sure to include that information in a follow up email tomorrow as well.
00:54:17.820 --> 00:54:32.070
Ari Goldstein: Fantastic um there's an interesting question here from Sophia who says you read you had asked mark and siri a question about what they want to transmit and don't want to transmit to future generations, how would you answer that question.
00:54:33.930 --> 00:54:44.700
Irit Felsen: Well, you know, I think that what we actually see in in studies and studies, research, about the third generation is accumulating these days.
00:54:45.240 --> 00:54:57.360
Irit Felsen: We see some interesting trends that some which are a little bit worrisome we see that there is a transmission of elevated anxiety and depressive symptoms.
00:54:57.780 --> 00:54:58.800
And in fact.
00:54:59.850 --> 00:55:09.330
Irit Felsen: Where we would expect it to get diluted from generation to generation is you know, for example, the Depression and anxiety symptoms.
00:55:09.960 --> 00:55:18.060
Irit Felsen: Were lesser amongst the second generation in comparison to the survivor generation but still higher than our peers, who are not.
00:55:18.810 --> 00:55:27.570
Irit Felsen: related we expected, maybe or hope for the same in the third generation, however, we actually see an increase.
00:55:28.050 --> 00:55:44.100
Irit Felsen: In anxiety and depression in the third generation, and I think it has to do with some of the not positive aspects of the bullet geopolitical social, cultural environment that the third generation has grown.
00:55:44.160 --> 00:55:44.700
Irit Felsen: up in.
00:55:44.970 --> 00:55:50.880
Irit Felsen: relative to the reasonably safe and peaceful time that we're walking distance second generation.
00:55:51.420 --> 00:55:53.340
Irit Felsen: So obviously we would like.
00:55:53.520 --> 00:56:07.440
Irit Felsen: To not transmit further some of the anxiety, the depressive that tendency that hostile world view the than the suspiciousness the fear of the other we wouldn't want to.
00:56:07.860 --> 00:56:20.370
Irit Felsen: transmit it and what we would want to transmit is some of the other, the resiliency be the hope, the ability to hang on to one's values and.
00:56:20.370 --> 00:56:21.870
Irit Felsen: To optimism and to.
00:56:21.870 --> 00:56:40.830
Irit Felsen: Hope and to develop very successful at the patient during trauma and after trauma, to be able to move forward, despite trauma the empathy and the ability to to feel and to act against.
00:56:40.890 --> 00:56:42.660
Irit Felsen: Other people suffering just.
00:56:42.660 --> 00:56:48.840
Irit Felsen: Because we are the descendants of survivors all of those things, we would like to transmit.
00:56:49.320 --> 00:57:11.520
Irit Felsen: And it's a very tricky balance it's a very tricky balance, how to achieve that how to choose the jewels that we want from this legacy and move them forward without burdening the Third, the fourth the fifth generation, with some of the trauma.
00:57:13.050 --> 00:57:13.530
00:57:14.550 --> 00:57:20.310
Ari Goldstein: Thank you read it, and can you also clarify the name of the children's book you mentioned there's some questions about that.
00:57:20.340 --> 00:57:36.210
Irit Felsen: Yes, so I can I can also put it in the in the whatever you would like to send afterwards Ali, it is something called the picture book of mother infant interactions and it is a.
00:57:36.990 --> 00:57:53.190
Irit Felsen: It is by Beatrice bb and her colleagues, I can send you the exact name afterwards, thank you and also by the way, also for those of you who want, if you Google yet with bb on YouTube.
00:57:54.330 --> 00:58:04.740
Irit Felsen: There ought to be a movie there by someone whose name i'm blanking on right now, a movie about the address bds work.
00:58:05.250 --> 00:58:27.900
Irit Felsen: That shows a lot of these principles, I think, for people with young children to see the way that our micro interactions as we call it our perceived by them and communicate a lot to infants as young as four months old is a very teaching moment it's well worth watching.
00:58:28.710 --> 00:58:29.460
Ari Goldstein: Thank you read.
00:58:29.970 --> 00:58:30.510
Irit Felsen: you're.
00:58:31.290 --> 00:58:37.080
Ari Goldstein: Just hitting the end of the hour, so let's let's close with this question for surgery and mark, what are you working on next.
00:58:40.950 --> 00:58:52.410
Mark Rosenblatt: I well I i'm i'm trying to imagine, I am trying to write, I think there is a feature version of this short whether or not and i'm working on a few ideas around that.
00:58:53.640 --> 00:59:09.120
Mark Rosenblatt: But i'm working on yeah i'm writing a couple of other feature ideas i'm developing a TV show and i'm writing a plague, and as well, which i've never done before for theatre in London so and I can speak I can't read to wear any of them, but.
00:59:10.350 --> 00:59:13.140
Mark Rosenblatt: that's the outlines that's my that's my headline us.
00:59:13.710 --> 00:59:18.300
Suri Ellerton: wow yes, I wish, he could speak that them because they're great.
00:59:18.960 --> 00:59:29.940
Suri Ellerton: And so i've got an apprentice film production company called same name productions and we are developing feature films and a couple of TV series as well.
00:59:30.420 --> 00:59:39.930
Suri Ellerton: And i've got a short film that I am developing as well with another director and yeah there's I mean there's a lot on.
00:59:40.650 --> 00:59:53.280
Suri Ellerton: I can just say one project, I mean none of them are Jewish related but maybe another thing will come up for me at some point but and one film that is about and a woman in England who.
00:59:54.270 --> 01:00:07.770
Suri Ellerton: her house is being was meant to be demolished four rounds about to be belts and she decides that she's going to fight the Council and, of course, she loses because they're more powerful than her and so she.
01:00:08.190 --> 01:00:16.920
Suri Ellerton: ties her kerchief under her chin and she takes down her entire House by herself moves it, you know 30 miles north and then rebuild it all by herself.
01:00:17.310 --> 01:00:25.860
Suri Ellerton: Starting she's in her early 60s and she didn't until her mid 80s, just like an incredible woman, based on a true story so that's one, there are other things, but that's.
01:00:26.760 --> 01:00:29.670
Suri Ellerton: Unbelievable yeah so good stuff.
01:00:30.540 --> 01:00:34.560
Irit Felsen: Very good stuff Thank you so much for being with us.
01:00:36.060 --> 01:00:36.450
01:00:39.180 --> 01:00:40.530
Suri Ellerton: Such an honor really.
01:00:40.980 --> 01:00:48.510
Mark Rosenblatt: yeah it's been a real privilege, thank you for you know i'm so pleased film resonates and that we, we can share it with you today yeah.
01:00:49.020 --> 01:00:58.500
Suri Ellerton: And thank you to the museum for for hosting us really was very, very special experience for us to be able to be in in a home that feels really appropriate for the bone so thank you.
01:00:59.730 --> 01:01:08.550
Ari Goldstein: pleasure is ours bravo mark rosenblatt sorry eller tunes and the whole team behind gone off on this wonderful short film, which is Oscar qualified.
01:01:08.910 --> 01:01:22.050
Ari Goldstein: At the end of this week, the film will be available for streaming on on the lotto which will send out a link to and starting tomorrow you'll be able to access the recording of this panel discussion on the museum's website and YouTube channel.
01:01:22.800 --> 01:01:33.360
Ari Goldstein: You can join us for upcoming programs that support the museum's work on our website, the links in the zoom chat once again great thanks to all of you and wish everyone good luck.
01:01:34.290 --> 01:01:35.220
Thank you very much.
01:01:36.240 --> 01:01:37.500
Suri Ellerton: Thank you everyone for coming.
01:01:38.010 --> 01:01:39.060
Mark Rosenblatt: Thank you bye.
Explore Intergenerational Trauma Across Cultural Lines
GANEF reveals that collective traumas can result in cumulative emotional and psychological wounds that are carried across generations. Explore historical trauma and healing in this Museum program, which features a discussion between Dr. Irit Felsen and experts from Jewish, African American, and American Indian communities.
Explore Intergenerational Trauma in Film
Mark Rosenblatt and Suri Ellerton are both grandchildren of Holocaust survivors who have channeled their family experiences into GANEF. Explore third-generation Holocaust filmmaking in this Museum program, which features a discussion between Dr. Irit Felsen and filmmakers Alexa Karolinski and Noa Maiman.
Discover the Story of the “X Troop”
In GANEF, Ruthie’s mother is a Jewish refugee who moved to the United Kingdom after the Holocaust. Discover the remarkable story of another group of Jewish refugees in the UK in this Museum program, which explores the “X Troop”—a secret commando unit in the British military made up of Jews who had escaped their homes in Germany and Austria.