Narrated by the Polish-born film-maker, Marzynski, this engrossing, sober, deeply moving documentary reconstructs, through visits, photographs and memories the Shtetl of Bransk, a town 160 km east of Warsaw with a Jewish population of 2,500 in 1939, now with none. Most perished in the Holocaust, the rest scattered throughout the world. Marzynski, who survived the Holocaust by hiding with Christians, acts as translator for, first, a 70-year-old Chicago Jew, Nathan Kaplan, whom he takes to Bransk to visit the home of his family, and later another American, Jack Ruby, a concentration camp survivor who revisits his childhood home. In the middle section, Marzynski takes a Gentile historian of Bransk Jewish history, Zbyszek Romaniuk, to America to meet Kaplan, thus raising questions of Romaniuk's objectivity and the Polish people's responsibility for the fate of the Jews. Marzynski is an intent interviewer, but he adopts a leisurely, slightly meandering approach to structure, which nevertheless pays off in moments of extraordinary passion.
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