Film Screening: 'Holding Hands With Ilse'
April 19, 2017
Isenberg School of Management
UMass Amherst Campus
A film about the search for the German teenage girl who took care of the filmmaker between 1948-1950 in Walbrzch, Poland where he was born. Knowing only her first name and circulating a small photograph taken in 1950 of the two, the director explores the urban landscapes of western Poland and the journey involved in their unexpected reunion that recently took place in Ibbenburen, Germany. Valley Premiere.
(2017, dir Abraham Ravett, 93 min)
“In 2011, a major change in my personal life brought up feelings of abandonment that were somehow rooted in the emigration from Poland to Israel and also in the loss of that intimate relationship I’d had with a caregiver I couldn’t even remember. I decided to try and find Ilse and make a film about my search. Based on what little I had to go on, I never imagined that I’d find her. Last summer, after months of fruitless leads, an unlikely chain of connections led to a major feature about my film project in the Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland’s leading daily, coupled with a mention of my project in a monthly newsletter for former residents of Walbrzych now living in Germany. Ilse Gerda Kaiser, 82, saw the newsletter and immediately recognized herself and me. In a few weeks I was on a Lufthansa flight to Ibbenbüren, Germany.”