B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation in Albany will present a screening of “1945,” an eloquent, at times gripping, multi-award winning drama of a society trying to come to terms with the recent horrors they’ve experienced, perpetrated or just tolerated for personal gain.
“1945” will be shown Saturday, March 9, 7:30 p.m. at the synagogue, 420 Whitehall Road, Albany, New York. Refreshments will be available. Suggested contribution: $5.
On a summer day in 1945, an Orthodox man and his grown son return to a village in Hungary while the villagers prepare for the wedding of the town clerk’s son. The townspeople – suspicious, remorseful, fearful and cunning – expect the worst and behave accordingly. The town clerk fears the men may be heirs of the village’s deported Jews and expects them to demand their illegally acquired property back. Based on the short story “Homecoming” by Gábor T. Szánto, director Ferenc Török paints a complex picture that reiterates Thomas Wolfe’s famed sentiment: you can’t go home again.
After the film, Ivan Vamos, a Holocaust survivor who was born in Budapest in 1938, will lead a discussion that will help illuminate the film’s themes. Vamos and his mother managed to survive by, among other things, hiding in abandoned buildings in Budapest. After liberation in late 1945 and in 1946, they went to Slovakia to try to get on the Czechoslovak quota for emigration to the U.S. He recollects being the only surviving Jewish child living in small rural communities at the edge of Trenava and Levice in Slovakia. Vamos’ experiences during the war and in the years immediately afterward give him a unique perspective.
“1945” has garnered awards at film festivals in San Francisco, Miami, Washington, Chattanooga, Jerusalem, Berlin, and Austria. Released in 2017, the 91-minute film is in Hungarian with English subtitles.
Film and image provided by Menemsha Films.