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One Happy Memory

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival presents "Yahrzeit" by Eva Ziemsen:

Eva Ziemsen’s haunting, elegiac Yahrzeit is at once a personal tribute to the filmmaker’s grandmother (Rosa Schensowsky-Szmuk, a survivor of the Holocaust) and a profound meditation on memory and history. Presenting the film from a first-person perspective, Ziemsen recreates her experience of walking through the vast Memorial to the Murdered Jews in Berlin, and of the sentiments and questions that are conjured up as she engages with this charged historical space. As Ziemsen wanders with her camera, the images of the Memorial become more personal, etched with the questions she can never ask nor have answered; finally, they completely give way to her grandmother in an artful statement on how we find connection to the past through our personal associations. Ziemsen does not enforce a conventional narrative structure upon her experience, and the film ends with many questions unanswered. In its refusal to impose closure, Yahrzeit becomes a reflection of Ziemsen’s understanding that the past is too momentous to ever be fully explained or understood. – Jocelyn Geddie / Cineva Films

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