"Every child saved with my help is the justification of my existence on this Earth, and not a title to glory." (Irena Sendler)
Los Angeles -- I make my living in various aspects of the Entertainment medium. And being a working stiff in the City of Angeles, over time you tend to develop a thick skin, jaded by the years of struggle, rejection, ridicule and an occasional valedictory triumph of professional recognition. It can take a toll even on the most seasoned cynic in this town of rejected dreams and failures. Yet as dark as this might seem to the uninitiated, it is doable and survivable even winnable when you compare what you are going through to those who survived and triumphed in the face of the most beastly period of the modern era; the murder of over six million Jews and 10 million Christians in a systematic, organized, industrialized factory style murder mill, complete with quotas and an infrastructure of rail that crisscrossed a continent between ghettos and death camps at a time when the world was at war and madness ruled with an iron grip.
Some historians claim that Hitler lost the war because he not only fought two fronts but three. The third obviously the murder of unarmed, innocent civilians, young and old, male and female without the slightest bit of remorse all for the mythological belief in racial purity and superiority. They were right. The resources the Third Reich assigned to the "special treatment" of those who were classified as "sub-human" deprived Nazi Germany of the needed resources to wage a successful campaign of conquest, not that it would have been successful. By the mid 1940's it was evident to any sane German the war of annihilation waged by Adolf Hitler was quickly turning into their own annihilation.
Which brings us to another notion often misunderstood yet quite the opposite. The Germans as efficient and brutal as they were at the onset of the war could not fully subjugate, even with the systematic murder techniques of the Einsatzgruppen, the Nazi death squads who were primarily charged with the mass shootings in the East, the captive population. Resistance was more prevalent than previously known and as the WWII generation dies out more and more stories have emerged to support this premise. Aside from group resistance, like the heroic Jewish uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto, you had individual resistance that defied all logic in the face of overwhelming odds and a fanatical, religious zeal to complete the Nazi master plan as defeat loomed nearer and nearer in the closing days of the war.
In the passing years since the end of the Second World War stories emerged of heroism from all sides especially individuals who risked and lost their lives in the pursuit of God's humanity. Yet their were some who would continue life inconspicuously for years even decades until fate cast its unflinching light upon them. Examples of these living Saints who gave up all for all include Oskar Schindler, Raul Wallenberg, Chiune Sugihara, Aristides de Sousa Mendes, Varian Fry, Tatsuo Osako, Griogio Perlasca, John Rabe, Abdol Hossein Sardari, Nicholas Winton, Jan Zwartendijk and Irena Sendler.
Of particualr interest is Irena Sendler who as a Polish social worker rescued 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto before her capture in 1943. What is remarkable isn't just her story of survival and triumph but how that story was told a half century later by school girls in the Midwest researching the Holocaust for a school project who came upon her story and adapted it for the stage as "Life in a Jar". Here is a clip of what they did.
In 1999, in Uniontown Kansas, high school teacher Norm Conard and a handful of students stumbled across an unknown hero from the holocaust, Irena Sendler. A research project intended for the classroom soon sparked the interest of the world, and forever changed the lives of everyone involved.
The Hallmark Channel would go on to produce a feature on Irena Sendler's exploits. I debated whether or not to post the film or even trailer but I chose not too. What you have is more than enough to tell the story of courage and sacrifice that can only come from the heart. I must admit I knew the story but as you get bombarded with WWII stories after a while you become jaded especially when you work in the media. My inbox in piled high with stories, leads and internet links on anything and everything that pertains to media. Be it Film, Video, TV, Cable, Satellite, Radio, Music, Gaming, Theater, well you get where I am heading...it is a complete media overload. Yet it wasn't until a friend sent me a link on his Facebook that I seriously took a look back at Irena Sendler, remembering the Hallmark feature. It reminded me of a story I worked on several years back on the courage of another rescuer of Jews, a Japanese diplomat, Chiune Sugihara who saved countless Jews in Lithuania at the outbreak of the war. He too received well deserved recognition years later for his selfless sacrifice in spite of the perilous situation at that time.
If there is a lesson here it is that the courage of the heart begins with a heart of courage. For it is their in the midst of our doubts and fears that we draw the strength to be doers instead of observers. Especially at a time when hesitancy is death and decisiveness is life. It takes a person of faith to rise above fear and its paralytic panic to do what is right despite the specter of death looming just before him and her. One such person was Irena Sendler a woman who had courage of the heart.
Los Angeles - The other day I went to see Jurassic World and like so many I left with a slight headache and relief it is totally make believe...I think. The SFX were so fluid and real that you forget probably many scenes were shot in front of a Green Screen or a Green Room with foam rubber puppets on strings as stand ins for the carnivores. Well he is the clip and for those of you who haven't seen any or all of the Jurassic franchise (doubtful) there is a spoiler alert. Watch at your own risk.
Next up if this was all real would you go?
Heck no. I'm just fine putting down $16 and experiencing near death in 3D Imax. Speaking of experience here is Christ Pratt showcasing behind the scenes look at the making of Dino fever.
So all of this comes down to this. Until the next screening. Action!
What to expect at this week's American Black Film Festival
By CLAYTON GUTZMORE File photo from the 2012 American Black Film Festival that was held in Miami, Florida. More than 20,000 aspiring actors, producers, directors and other talented black content creators are expected to gather in New York this week for the 2015 American Black Film Festival, the largest film festival highlighting films, TV shows and…
Jerry Seinfeld: 'Creepy PC' crowds offended at jokes with fictional gay Frenchmen
Jerry Seinfeld expanded on his recent lamentations about political correctness by telling Seth Meyers he can't tell jokes that feature fictional gay Frenchmen. Mr. Seinfeld told the "Late Night with Seth Meyers" host on Tuesday that he could recently "feel" the negative opinion of a crowd when he likened the way people scroll through cell phone…
Music Is No Longer Art but a Product
Those lucky enough to have watched Jimi Hendrix's 1973 rockumentary directed and produced by Joe Boyd, John Head and Gary Weis which contains concert footage from 1967 to 1970 that includes the Monterey Pop festival, the 1970 Isle of Wight festival, Woodstock and Berkeley concert might also remember an interesting interview by Frankie Crocker, a famous…
Make this your home for all the exciting and fun things from the world of entertainment news. Be it the movies, music, theater or sporting events, we try to bring the action on demand, up close and right at your fingertips. From mobile to desktop the information you love through the most popular hi tech platforms that you choose to use. Convenient and accessible 24/7. We stay in touch with the news that you demand much.
Free content by Fresh Content.net
Commentary Blogs From
The Editor's Desk
Spotlighting the best in entertainment, its talent, its people, its craft, its business and the genius of what makes show business everybody's business.