About THE FILM
“You’re free. Go home”
Most Holocaust films end with these words, the very words that survivors heard at liberation. But After Auschwitz is not a typical “Holocaust” film. It begins with these words, inviting audiences to experience what happened next. In watching the struggles of survival, the audience feels a searing connection to our current political climate, as history teaches us the vital role humanity plays in our hopes for greater understanding and compassion.
To an American, liberation sounds like it should have been a great day. For survivors, liberation from the camps was the beginning of a life long struggle. They wanted to go home, but there was no home left in Europe. They came to America and wanted to tell people about their pasts but were silenced for over three decades. “You’re in America now, put it behind you”.
After Auschwitz is a “Post-Holocaust” documentary that follows six extraordinary women, capturing what it means to move from tragedy and trauma towards life. These women all moved to Los Angeles, married, raised children and became “Americans” but they never truly found a place to call home. What makes the story so much more fascinating is how these women saw, interpreted and interacted with the changing face of America in the second half of the 20th century. They serve as our guides on an unbelievable journey, sometimes celebratory, sometimes heart breaking but always inspiring.
Santa Monica College, Public Policy Institute
May 9th at 7pm at Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Avenue
Q & A with Director Jon Kean, Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels, SMC Professor Ali Mohsen, and Ahilan Arulanantham from the American Civil Liberties Union
Wednesday, May 10, 7pm
Stephen S. Wise Temple
15500 Stephen S Wise Dr , LA
Thursday, May 25, 7pm
16019 W. Sunset Blvd, Pacific Palisades
Saturday, June 3, 7:45pm
Normandie World War II International Film Festival
Cinema Le Melies
News & Updates
Meet the filmmakers:
Jon made his film debut in 1999 as the writer/director of the comedy, Kill the Man, starring Luke Wilson and Joshua Molina. He also founded the acclaimed theatre company Theatre-A-Go-Go!, creating over a dozen original works in Los Angeles and New York. Among them are the award winning Patty, Patty, Bang! Bang!: The Patty Hearst Musical and Valley of the Dolls. In 2007 he released the critically acclaimed documentary film Swimming in Auschwitz, which serves as a prequel to After Auschwitz, following the same six women both before and during the war. He is currently working on two new documentaries, including Mythical Creatures, a groundbreaking visual documentary about Los Angeles artist Gary Baseman.
Jon was raised in Philadelphia, where he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. He now lives in Santa Monica, California with his wife and two children.
Michael Berenbaum Executive Producer
Michael Berenbaum is a writer, lecturer, and teacher consulting in the conceptual development of museums and the development of historical films. He is director of the Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implications of the Holocaust at the American Jewish University (formerly the University of Judaism) where he is also a Professor of Jewish Studies.
Berenbaum is the author and editor of twenty books, scores of scholarly articles, and hundreds of journalistic pieces. His most recent books include: Not Your Father’s Antisemitism, A Promise to Remember: The Holocaust in the Words and Voices of Its Survivors and After the Passion Has Passed: American Religious Consequences. Johns Hopkins University Press has recently published a second edition of The World Must Know. He is also the editor of Murder Most Merciful: Essays on the Moral Conundrum Occasioned by Sigi Ziering The Trial of Herbert Bierhoff.
Among his other works are A Mosaic of Victims: Non‑Jews Persecuted and Murdered by the Nazis, The Vision of the Void: Theological Reflections on the Works of Elie Wiesel, and Witness to the Holocaust: An Illustrated Documentary History of the Holocaust in the Words of Its Victims, Perpetrators, and Bystanders and most recently, The Bombing of Auschwitz: Should the Allies Have Attempted It? (with Michael Neufeld). He is the author of A Promise to Remember co-editor of Martyrdom: The History of an Idea.
Laura Hall Composer
Laura Hall is best known as the improvisational pianist for the hit TV show, “Whose Line is it Anyway”,
She has also written music for several films, including "Swimming in Auschwitz" and "After Auschwitz". She wrote music for the award winning "The Wheels on the Bus" DVD series for kids, starring Roger Daltrey from The Who. She's written music for several romantic comedies including: "Slice of Pie", written by and starring her husband, Rick Hall; "Anatomy of a Breakup", directed by Judy Minor; and "Look at Me" directed by Alesia Glidewell. She's also had music placed on the TV series, "Gotham".
Laura got her start in Chicago at “The Second City” as an improvisational pianist, composer and musical director. She has composed original musicals with the “Annoyance Theater” and “Theater-A-Go-Go”, including “Patty, Patty, Bang! Bang!” which won an L.A. Weekly award for Best New Musical.
Laura's has an Americana style band, “The Sweet Potatoes”, where she writes, sings, and plays guitar, accordion and ukulele. The music is mostly original, loaded with vocal harmonies and a touch of twang. They tour nationally, performing everywhere from colleges to house concerts.
Laura has performed and recorded with such diverse talents as Keegan-Michael Key, Robin Williams, Jane Lynch, Sid Caesar, Roger Daltrey, Joe Walsh, and Florence Henderson.
For more information, please visit Laura’s website:
Anne has been a working editor for over three decades, starting with Milos Forman's feature film, Hair. She has worked in numerous independent features, documentaries and television series in that time.
Mark Mervis Director of Photography
Mark began his filmmaking career while in high school in Richmond, Virginia. He shot his first broadcast commercial in 35mm when he was 16.
This led to a full time job as a camera assistant at a local production company. Within two years of this he moved up to Director of Photography shooting commercials for Circuit City and Virginia Power as well as music videos for Gwar. In 1993 he became one of the founders of Fiat Lux Films and lensed spots for McDonalds, Busch Gardens, Stihl, and the Internal Revenue Service.
In 1997 he moved to Los Angeles as a freelance DOP and began shooting indie films. The first one was “Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss” which went to the Sundance Film Festival in 1998 and was followed to the festival the next year with the comedy “Kill the Man."
Since then Mark has shot more than 12 feature films and television movies in addition to numerous shorts and commercials.
Mark also restores antique motion picture cameras and does technical consulting on motion picture technology for films about films.