My most recent project as a consultant is a documentary called “The Touch of an Angel”, directed by Marek Tomasz Pawlowski. It premiered in 2015 and presents previously unknown facts about the Holocaust. Film is a very personal, poetic memoir of Henryk Schönker, a deaf man who returns to the places where he found refuge during World War II. He recalls in vivid detail how he and his family struggled to escape Nazi persecution. The narrator is the only eyewitness who can confirm the existence of the Bureau for Jewish Emigration to Palestine, an office founded in the city of Auschwitz, a ray of hope that didn’t last long. If the emigration had been successful and the world had embraced Jews, the city of Auschwitz would be a symbol of salvation today, rather than one of annihilation. The film poses difficult questions of timeless significance: had other countries been willing to accept Jewish refugees, how many could have been saved?
The film took five years of extensive investigation and production. We found the evidence of the activities of the Jewish Emigration Bureau in Poland, at Yad Vashem in Israel, and in the US, where bureau’s documents were submitted simultaneously in 1939 to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.
We investigated all Schoenker’s stories. All of them proved to be true in every detail. All hiding places have been identified and were used in the film. All persons and places were described by the narrator with a photographic memory.
The film was shown at the Laemmle Theaters in Los Angeles and at the Quad in New York in January 2015, it is now formally submitted to AMPAS for 2015. It has been well received by critics and audiences alike and is being presented at many international film festivals all over the world. Currently we are working on its promotion.
Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru: Every account from a Holocaust survivor is necessary in order to preserve the memory of such a horrifying event from the past. At a running time of just about 1 hour, The Touch of Angel manages to be emotionally resonating, gripping and vital.
Andrzej Fidyk, TVP: It’s really a topnotch film and deserves a discerning viewing, as well as a far-reaching presence in major film festivals and events around the world.
Amy Zucker Morgenstern, Unitarian Universalist Church: One of the most powerful films I've ever seen. Well-constructed and visually beautiful. Thinking about all the people who are threatened by genocide or war now, or are refugees, it's a call to my conscience not to be silent.
David Noh, Film Journal: Few survivors’ stories can match that of Henryk Schönker. Pawlowski embellishes his words with reconfigured period photographs and re-enactments which, for once, due to his low-key and unmelodramatic approach, add to Schönker's simple yet elementally powerful words.