Ha’makah ha’shmonim ve’ahat

The 81st Blow
A boy in the Przemysl ghetto was given 80 lashes that almost killed him. Later, the fact that no one believed him felt like the 81st blow. The title was chosen deliberately, and the film sets out to present evidence. Compiled entirely of historical footage and photographs, it tells of Jewish life in Europe, of the emergence of National Socialism, of exultant German crowds, of pogroms, deportation and extermination, and finally of small acts of resistance and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The soundtrack is made up of statements made at the trial of Adolf Eichmann and a score composed especially for the film.
While the film footage and photographs start out as historical sources, they are woven together with text and music to form a chant, an approach which could be described as transferring document into monument. The “Asynchronous – Documentaries and Experimental Films on the Holocaust from the Arsenal Collection” project has enabled the screening of the entire film in digital form, promising the rediscovery of a film that functioned simultaneously as evidence and monument in radical fashion, long before the boom in audiovisual history.
by David Bergman, Haim Gouri, Jacques Ehrlich, Miriam Novitch, Zvi Shner Israel 1975-1977 115’

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