About the event
MY NAME IS SARA
Kristallnacht Commemorative Screening
Directed by Steven Oritt
Sponsored by David and Helen Pudlin; Pam and Tony Schneider; Francine Tabas
Sara Goralnik was only 11 years old when the Nazis invaded her hometown of Korets, Ukraine in June 1941. At the time, Korets was home to a vibrant Jewish community whose history dated back 1,000 years. Before the German invasion, Jews, Polish Catholics, and Ukrainian Eastern Orthodox Christians had peacefully cohabitated in the region for centuries. However, as part of an independent Poland, the local Ukrainian farmers did not fare nearly as well as the burgeoning Jewish merchant class. Exploited by the Polish nobility, starved by the Soviets during the great famine of the 1930s, and poorly educated to boot, much of the town’s suffering Ukrainian population had nurtured a deep resentment towards their upwardly mobile Jewish neighbors by the time of the occupation. Desperate and hopeless, many welcomed their German “liberators” – aka Nazis – with open arms.
It is here that Sara’s story begins. After possibly losing her entire family in the Holocaust and barely escaping the Nazis herself, Sara (Zuzanna Surowy) borrows her Christian best friend’s identity to seek shelter in the Ukrainian countryside. Taken in by a local farmer and his young wife, she tends to their farm and two young children in exchange for food and a place to sleep. Living a lie, Sara knows that her only chance of survival rests on her ability to pass for a local. However, she soon learns she is not the only one harboring a deep, dark secret. After discovering what’s been plaguing her employer’s marriage, life at the farm becomes increasingly tricky as Sara strives to keep her true identity hidden at all costs.
Based on a true story, MY NAME IS SARA is a gripping saga of courage, compassion, and defiance.
Join us after the film for a discussion with director Steven Oritt on Tuesday, November 10 at 12 PM EST.
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- JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival
- Miami Jewish Film Festival
- Toronto Jewish Film Festival