In the late 1980's, on the brink of the collapse of the Soviet Union, tens of thousands of Soviet Jews were finally allowed to leave the USSR. What these people did not expect was that ...
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In the late 1980's, on the brink of the collapse of the Soviet Union, tens of thousands of Soviet Jews were finally allowed to leave the USSR. What these people did not expect was that their final destination, America, no longer welcomed them with open arms. In 1988, American policy suddenly changed and thousands of Soviet Jews were stranded in Italy. Stateless. This documentary captures that unique slice of history from the point of view of the émigrés as well as expert accounts of the situation from influential Jewish leaders including David Harris of the AJC, Mark Handelman of NYANA and Mark Hetfield of HIAS among others.Written by
Well-crafted, poignant documentary that makes recent history come alive
With this film Michael Drob taps into the collective desire to make meaning out of a tumultuous, disorienting journey. He traces every step, from leaving the country, to arriving in Austria, then Italy, then finally being granted entry into the US, and the turns the story takes are sometimes joyous, sometimes heartbreaking, punctuated by moments of hilarity. The firsthand accounts given by engaging characters are balanced by historical context and perspectives from the agencies that assisted the refugees.
If you were part of this Jewish immigration wave from the Soviet Union, you will watch the story that shaped your life, told by other people but with the same words, the same memories, the same questions that you have. If you watch this film with others who have gone through the immigration path, be prepared for it to spur an intense discussion about how it relates to their own experiences. See it if you have the chance!
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