Over 11 million people were killed during the Holocaust. 6 million of them were of Jewish descent. Somehow, against the most incredible odds, 200,000 individuals survived concentration camps where prisoners were submitted to unspeakable acts of physical and psychological torture.
Through animation and first-hand testimony, UNSPEAKABLE offers these remarkable stories of survival. Our narrative journey begins before the war with life in shtetls, moves through the nazification of Europe and the horrors of concentration camps, finally coming to liberation and reintegration – and the impact of the war on those who survived and their families.
UNSPEAKABLE interweaves 16 stories, illustrating the wide breadth of experiences endured by survivors, outsiders in a time and place when nothing was more dangerous than being thought of as different. Jews—along with homosexuals, gypsies and intellectuals—all suffered under the Nazi regime, and it is these stories that will be explored. Scores of wrenching images have been burned into our collective memory through a myriad of Holocaust films and documentaries – bodies piled upon bodies, the face of a crying child as it is wrenched from its mother’s arms, the emaciated man huddled in the corner overshadowed by towering SS officers. This footage plays a vital role in preserving history. Animation, which lacks the narrative and physical boundaries of traditional film, is another powerful way through which to commemorate and illustrate the very personal stories of the war. Because it has never been utilized for a full-length Holocaust film, it also offers an opportunity to witness these experiences in a new way. And it is vital to explore all possible means through which to illustrate the full spectrum of human experiences endured by those who suffered. In a few short years, the small number of remaining Holocaust survivors will be gone and all we will have left are their stories. Telling and re-telling these tales has always been a vital part of Jewish legacy and that has never been truer than in this moment.
This film is personal for many involved in its making – among them children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of family members who survived and perished during the Holocaust. It is the 97-year-old grandfather of UNSPEAKABLE’S director who inspired the film itself. Irving Kamrat, a survivor, painted throughout his life, telling the story of the war years he found so difficult to describe in words. Through his and others’ testimony, UNSPEAKABLE offers a powerful, unique portrait of atrocities which must never again be allowed to occur.
Our initial goal is to raise $150,000 which will be utilized to create an 8-10 minute short film, focusing on one of the 52,000 stories from the Shoah archives. This animated short will be used as an educational tool at synagogues, churches and schools worldwide. The funds will also be allocated for initial story development and character research for the feature length animated film.
Once we have the short film completed and distributed, we will begin to explore options to raise funds for the feature length documentary.