Interweaving docu-drama sequences with archival material, this film follows Israel and Frania Rubinek on their emotional return journey to Poland to reunite with the woman who, with her husband and son, saved their lives 40 years earlier.




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During the fall of 1942, in the Polish village of Pinczow, as the Germans deported Jews to the gas chambers, the Banya family offered to hide Israel and Frania Rubinek in their one room farmhouse. Despite enormous risk and hardship, Zofia and Ludwig Banya, along with their young son Maniek, sheltered the Rubineks for 28 months. Interweaving docu-drama sequences with archival material, this film follows Israel and Frania Rubinek on their emotional return journey to Poland, and documents their poignant reunion with Zofia Banya, the peasant woman who saved their lives 40 years earlier. Actor Saul Rubinek, co-producer of the film, accompanies his parents not only to achieve a better understanding of his family's past, but also to come to terms with his own identity. Written by National Center for Jewish Film

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jewish | holocaust | See All (2) »







Release Date:

25 April 1993 (USA)  »

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Deeply moving true story of survivors, full of humor and above all, love
24 May 2006 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Here is a true story of the survival of two originals, Frania and Israel Rubinek, told by their son, actor and writer Saul Rubinek. The documentary focuses on a return to Poland for a reunion with the family in whose tiny basement room the Rubineks were hidden during the war. The film takes us on a journey through the Rubinek's darkest times, near discovery and their ultimate emergence, seen through the eyes of their son, whose gratitude for his parents' very lives is abundantly clear in every frame: their strength, courage, wit, humor, and above all, their abiding love of each other. As Frania relates towards the end of the film, Barry Levinson had seen an earlier version of it at the time he was casting "Avalon" (and looking for European actors). Both were cast in the film, fulfilling Israel's youthful dream of acting (he had acted in Poland), and Frania later appeared in Levinson's "Liberty Heights." I was fortunate indeed to catch this beautiful film on public television years ago--I do hope there are plans to make it available on DVD. These two were miracles in themselves, and their radiant light shines through in this moving tribute.

And could they tell funny stories! Unforgettable. Thank you, Saul, for sharing your wonderful parents and their story with the world.

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