In the new Planet Classroom podcast, young East Valley filmmakers reflect on the Holocaust and lessons to be learned about anti-semitism, racism and dehumanizing people of different races, religions and sexual identities.
The Holocaust survivors somehow got through one of the darkest periods in human history. Six million Jewish people were killed. GenZ are the last generation with the privilege to meet survivors.
Young filmmakers Eva Suissa, Hank Schoen and Ian Kim joined Planet Classroom’s virtual host, Orb, to speak about lessons learned while making their film, “Hold the Sun in Your Hands: The Erika Jacoby Story.” The film, which won the Best Student Documentary at The American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival, is now screening on the Planet Classroom Network YouTube Channel.
Filmmaker Eva Suissa struggles with how anyone could have let the Holocaust actually happen, and believes that only art has “the unique capability” to express this “traumatic and horrible” chapter in human history. Her Co-Director, Hank Schoen, says the rise of white supremacists and politicians who support them scares him because people “still haven’t learned the lessons about anti-semitism and racism, about scapegoating and dehumanizing people of different races, religions or sexual identities.” Schoen believes however that their film offers “hope” and “a belief in people’s ability to change and redeem themselves.”
The students’ hand and-drawn animation illustrates Holocaust survivor Erika Jacoby’s memories of surviving Auschwitz.
DIRECTORS/SCREENWRITERS: Talia Abel, Xenia Bernal, Ian Kim, Alejandro Moses, Hank Schoen, India Spencer, Eva Suissa, and Michael Zambrano
PRODUCERS: C. Lily Ericsson, Cheri Gaulke, Samara Hutman
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Sarah Morton
EDITORS: Talia Abel, Xenia Bernal, Ian Kim, Alejandro Moses, Hank Schoen, India Spencer, Eva Suissa, Michael Zambrano, and C. Lily Ericsson
CAST: Erika Jacoby
“Hold the Sun in Your Hands; The Erika Jacoby Story” was produced in the summer 2018 Righteous Conversations Project Workshop at Harvard-Westlake School. Executive producers: Cheri Gaulke and Samara Hutman.
About The Planet Classroom Network
The Planet Classroom Network, organized by CMRubinWorld, brings together musicians, dancers, video game creators, filmmakers, learning innovators and emerging technologists from all over the world to entertain, educate and engage youth, and to provide a rich cultural experience at a time when art and learning institutions everywhere are not accessible. Curators and content contributors include Global Nomads, Global Oneness, the Martha Graham Dance Company, Commffest, KIDS FIRST!, Dream a Dream Foundation, OddWorld Inhabitants, Psyon Games, Challenge 59, LXL Ideas, Alliance for Young Artists & Writers/Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Creative Visions Foundation, Battery Dance, SIMA Classroom, Young Voices for the Planet, Bard Conservatory, Taking It Global, Materials for the Arts, Book Creator, XTalks, NFFTY, Young People’s Chorus of New York City, The International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace, Ryan Wong Classroom, The Global Search for Education, Voice America, Rocketium and Brandartica. Young people from around the world played a significant role in conceptualizing, creating, and producing the network’s vision and programming.