29 October 2014
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York will hold a screening of the Memories of the Eichmann Trial (1979) as part of its 12th International Festival of Film Preservation in November. The restoration of the film was an initiative of Yad Vashem's Visual Center in cooperation with the Perlov family. The documentary will be screened at the Festival on Monday, November 3, 2014, with a second screening on Tuesday, November 11, 2014. Yael Perlov, producer and editor and daughter of David Perlov, will attend the event.
"The upcoming screening at MoMA signifies additional noteworthy recognition of the historical and cinematic importance of David Perlov's film and the professional restoration work of Yad Vashem's Visual Center," said Avner Shalev, Chairman of Yad Vashem.
Memories of the Eichmann Trial, produced by the Israel Broadcasting Authority-Channel 1, was shot on 16 mm. reversal stock, a format used before the changeover to video cinematography, and was broadcast only once. In 2011, commemorating 50 years since the Eichmann trial, Yad Vashem's Visual Center, with the support of the Perlov family, initiated the restoration of Memories of the Eichmann Trial. Upon completion of the yearlong restoration, the film was screened at the Pompidou Center in Paris as well at film festivals in France and England and academic conferences in Israel, Canada and Sweden. The film is a unique historic and cinematic document, composed of interviews conducted by Perlov in 1979. Perlov interviewed Israeli Holocaust survivors and members of their generation as well as children of survivors and young native born Israelis. Seventeen years after the Eichmann trial, they reflected upon how the trial affected them and their families, and how it transformed Israeli society's perceptions of the Holocaust and survivors.
Among those interviewed in the film are Rafael "Rafi" Eitan, who was among those responsible for Eichmann's capture in Argentina and Rivka Joselewska, a survivor of the killing pits in Pohost-Zagorodski who testified at the trial. Perlov also interviewed Henryk Ross who testified at the trial, a photographer who secretly managed to photograph what was occurring in the Lodz Ghetto as well as transports to the extermination camps. Ha'aretz film critic Uri Klein claims that, “One of Israeli cinema's most unforgettable moments is when Ross demonstrates how he pulled his hidden camera out from under his coat and then concealed it there again."
The Yad Vashem Visual Center, inaugurated in Fall 2005, is the world's most comprehensive information center and digital viewing library of Holocaust-related TV and cinema. The Center operates within the framework of the Yad Vashem Library, and provides public access to films about the Holocaust of all genres, from all over the world. Visitors to the Visual Center may select films free of charge to view at 50 personal computer stations. Visitors also have access to tens of thousands of survivor testimonies from the Yad Vashem collection and the USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education established by Steven Spielberg. The complete Visual Center's Film Database is available online, featuring over 9,000 films related to the Holocaust.