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Published on Aug 11, 2010
The camera lens has two sides, and often filmmakers ceased to be observers and became the objects of attention of the people they were filming. People stare into the lens, transfixed, and unsure what to do. In other cases, they pose and even take the opportunity to perform and clown for their unseen audience. Some people seem casually unaware that their expressions and actions would eventually be seen back in the U.S., thousands of miles away. And still others avoid the camera, preferring not to be filmed at all.
This film is from 16 MM POSTCARDS: HOME MOVIES OF AMERICAN JEWISH VISITORS TO 1930S POLAND
This exhibition brings to life the landscape of people in Poland through the amateur movies of immigrant American Jews who traveled "back home" to visit their families, friends, and former communities in the 1920s and 1930s. Intended to be viewed by family and fellow landsmen -- friends from the Old Country - these films offer a rare, intimate and - quite literally - moving picture of Jewish families, towns and society in pre-World War II Poland. 16 mm Postards was developed in collaboration with the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and the Center for Jewish History.
The exhibition ran from September 2010 - January 2011
Curated by Zachary Paul Levine
The films in this exhibition are part of a larger collection that resides in the archives of YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. They are of mixed provenance, and many of these films arrived to the YIVO archives through multiple parties. Still, others came with richer background information on the filmmakers as well as their provenance. If you would like to donate a your or another family's films, please contact the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.
**The film featured here is an excerpt from a longer version appearing in the gallery exhibition**
This material is made available for research, education and private use only. All other uses are strictly forbidden without the prior written authorization of the rightsholder. Additional restrictions may apply. Video Copyright YIVO Institute for Jewish Research