You are kindly and cordially invited to meet film director from Australia
Who will be presenting his documentary “Uncle Chatzkel”
In Vilnius Jewish Public Library, Gedimino pr. 24,
on March 30, at 3 PM
(Please mind that screening of the same documentary with Lithuanian sound and communication providing interpretation services with Rod Freedman will be held on the same day at 6 PM)
Film director from Australia Rod Freedman presents his documentary “Uncle Chatzkel” in Vilnius Jewish Public Library.
On Monday, March 30, 2015, at 3 PM guests of the Vilnius Jewish Public Library will have a rare opportunity to meet a famous film director and producer from Australia Rod Freedman – an independent director, producer and executive producer whose documentaries have won many Australian and international awards and screened in dozens of film festivals. Rod is particularly interested in stories about people and their life’s journeys. Rod’s most recent film as producer is ONCE MY MOTHER, showing in the 2015 Vilnius International Film Festival in the ‘Lithuanians Abroad’ program. Rod’s grandparents were Jewish Lithuanian.
His TV productions include UNCLE CHATZKEL, a personal film about his Lithuanian great uncle screened in over 50 international festivals; ONE LAST CHANCE, an investigative film about a Lithuanian war criminal; the award-winning Indigenous EVERYDAY BRAVE SERIES; WELCOME TO THE WAKS FAMILY, about an orthodox Jewish family with 17 children; three series of AUSTRALIAN BIOGRAPHY, featuring significant Australians reflecting on their lives; CROSSING THE LINE, about two medical students working in a remote Aboriginal community and WRONG SIDE OF THE BUS, a Jewish professor’s reconciliation journey to South Africa.
Chatzkel Lemchen has lived through the Russian revolution, two world wars, a communist regime and the transition of Lithuania from Soviet republic to an independent state. During the Holocaust, his parents and children, along with many of their fellow Jewish Citizens, were killed by the Nazis and their Lithuanian supporters. He and his wife, Lena, were sent to separate concentration camps in Germany.
Chatzkel survived through his skills as a linguist and lexicographer, and his dictionaries helped preserve the Lithuanian language during the Soviet era. Still working at the age of 93, he is now regarded as a national treasure. His success, however, belies his sometimes lonely existence.
One of seven siblings, Chatzkel was the only member of the family to remain in Lithuania. Although he has received his country’s highest honours, his relatives half a world away in Australia were barely aware of him. When they finally do meet, it is a deep moving experience that raids questions about identity, connection and rediscovering family roots.
The result is a film of great scope, one that helps us too understand the relationship of the present to the past through the story of an extraordinary individual, Uncle Chatzkel.
A Film Australia national Interest Program in association with ROBE Productions, SBS Independent & the NSW Film & Television Office.
Writer and Director : Rod Freedman
Producer: Rod Freedman
CoProducer: Emile Sherman
Executive Producers: Brian Sherman & Franco di Chiera