Hiding and Seeking: Faith and Tolerance After the Holocaust (2004)

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Menachem Daum, the son of holocaust survivors, and a New York Orthodox Jew worries that both of his sons, full time yeshiva students who live with their families in Israel, are becoming ... See full summary »

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Credited cast:
Akiva Daum ...
Menachem Daum ...
Rifka Daum ...
Tzvi Dovid Daum ...
Honorata Matuszezyk Mucha ...


Menachem Daum, the son of holocaust survivors, and a New York Orthodox Jew worries that both of his sons, full time yeshiva students who live with their families in Israel, are becoming seduced to intolerance by their religious studies. "All religions today are in danger of being hijacked by extremists." To open their perspectives just a little he sets off with his wife, Rifka, and both sons, Tzvi Dovid and Akiva, to visit the Polish towns where his parents grew up and to try to find the Catholic farmers who hid his father-in-law from the Germans. Enduring the bemused tolerance of his sons, Menachem persists until they find Honorata Matuszezyk Mucha who as a young woman brought food nightly to Rifka's father and his two brothers for 28 months until the end of World War II. The Daum sons perspectives widen a bit to allow for good Gentiles, but they also encounter some resentment from the Poles who heard no word from the three brothers after they left their hiding place, not even a ... Written by Maple-2

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Release Date:

6 February 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hiding and Seeking  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$7,070 (USA) (13 February 2004)


$51,091 (USA) (11 June 2004)

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Did You Know?


Featured in The 20th IFP Independent Spirit Awards (2005) See more »


From This Day On
Written by Shlomo Carlebach
Performed by C. Lanzbom
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User Reviews

inspiring documentary
11 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The powerful and moving documentary "Hiding and Seeking" gets to the heart of what religion and faith are really all about.

Menachem Daum, although himself an orthodox Jew, is concerned that his two even more conservative sons - yeshiva students living in Israel - are becoming isolationist in their attitudes towards the gentile world. To prove to them that there are good gentiles in the world, he takes them and his wife on a trip to Poland to have them meet the people who risked their lives by hiding the boys' maternal grandfather and two uncles from the Nazis during World War II. In fact, the boys and their mother owe their very existence to the extraordinary compassion and heroism of this "goyim" family. Although Daum was raised to see virtually all non-Jews as enemies, his life experience has taught him that people are people and that good and evil do not break down along sectarian lines. It is this humanistic philosophy that Daum hopes to impart to his sons.

The "hiding" of the title - beyond the obvious reference to the secretion of Jews during the holocaust - denotes what the practitioners of all religions do when they see themselves as somehow separate from and superior to those around them, and, as a result, build up barriers between their own kind and the outside world. This attitude creates divisions that, paradoxically, end up destroying the very people they are designed to protect. The "seeking" comes in Daum's epic quest to prove to his children that all people have the potential for goodness if only they choose to act upon it. Daum's egalitarian spirit and implicit faith in human goodness - despite having himself grown up in the shadow of the holocaust - provide the inspirational beacon than shines forth from the film.

Near the end of the movie, the Daums finally get to meet two of the people who risked their lives to save the family's relatives. The encounter is profoundly moving and compelling, and even Daum's sons seem transformed by the experience. But are they? "Hiding and Seeking" may be a "feel good" experience, but it isn't a fairy tale, and directors Baum and Oren Rudavsky are not afraid to end on an ambiguous note. Life, we are led to believe, asks a heck of a lot more complicated questions than an 84-minute movie - even a very good 84-minute movie - can answer. Not bad for a film in what is usually a know-it-all genre.

Filled with laughter and tears as well as a profound insight into the human condition, "Hiding and Seeking" is a rewarding and enlightening film.

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