FEMINIST FRIDAY: ‘After Auschwitz’ Docu Follows 6 Female Holocaust Survivors In America Today

Welcome to another Feminist Friday, that part of our week where we do something a ‘lil different, and share a handful of videos we can’t stop watching right now. This week we’re focusing on activism and politics with three videos that tackle topics of great importance.

The first is a trailer to Jon Kean’sAfter Auschwitz’, a “Post-Holocaust” documentary that follows six extraordinary women after their liberation from Nazi concentration camps, capturing what it means to move from tragedy and trauma towards life. The filmmaker examines the question, “What happens after surviving an unspeakable horror?” with six stories of remarkable women who survived the Holocaust and went on to build lives in the United States, but never truly found a place to call home.

For survivors of the Holocaust, liberation was both an incredible moment and a devastating one. It marked the beginning of a life-long struggle. Most wanted to go home, but there was no home left in devastated post-war Europe. Many came to America and wanted to tell people about their experiences, but were silenced. “You’re in America now, put it behind you” is what they were told. The women Kean follows became mothers and wives with successful careers, but never fully healed from the scars of the past.

Their stories show the indelible role immigrants and women played in the history of America during the second half of the 20th century, and they serve as our guides on an unbelievable journey – sometimes celebratory, sometimes heart-breaking, but always inspiring. According to a recent NY Times article, the Holocaust is fast fading from memory. Many people lack both basic and detailed knowledge of what happened, including the actual number of people who perished. In addition, more than half Americans believe the Holocaust could happen again. With these troubling new findings, it’s more critical than ever to ensure that people remain aware and educated about the Holocaust. Watch the trailer below and check the website for screenings. 

The second video this week is a documentary created by Korea Expose, a content platform dedicated to underreported stories in South Korea. This is the platform’s first documentary, called ‘Feminist Reboot: “We Are Alive Right Here”‘ and came about after recent events in the country. It was created by director Youjin Do and released on the 2 year anniversary of a woman being murdered in Gangnam. A 34-year-old man stabbed to death a woman he had never met before, and later claimed that he did so out of his hatred for women as they had ignored and humiliated him all his life.

Although the police refuted this claim and stated it was an act perpetuated by mental illness, it stunned the country that such a heinous act could be carried out by such hatred of women, and gave rise to a new wave of vocal feminism. According to Korea Expose, feminism is considered a dirty word in sections of society, so feminists are now reclaiming the movement and the word sharing their stories. That is what you will see in the documentary below.

In light of this shocking act of gender violence (something we see a lot here in the US with a number of mass shootings carried out for the same reasons), feminists in Korea have a renewed sense of urgency around the importance of feminism, especially in industries, such as gaming, which are male-dominated and contribute to the culture of misogyny. Watch this important documentary below.

Our final video this week is the trailer to a short film called ‘The Red Lotus’, created by Shara Ashley Zeiger. We’ve actually written about this film previously on GTHQ, but feel it is more timely than ever to share the trailer, since it is having its world premiere at the New York Shorts International Film Festival May 31st.

In light of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ second season coinciding with the rampant anti-choice policies coming out from the White House, including the recently-announced “domestic gag rule” which will further chip away access to reproductive healthcare for especially low-income women of color, ‘The Red Lotus’ is more than just a work of fiction, it is a dire warning.

The story follows two sisters who go away for a yoga retreat weekend, only to discover that the location is actually an underground abortion clinic, in a world where all abortion is illegal. Shara interviewed many women who have had abortions before embarking on her film which adds to the authenticity of experiences we see on screen. Studies from around the world show us that countries where all abortion is illegal and women criminalized do NOT see lower rates of abortion. Instead, countries where abortion is legal, coupled with ample access to preventative measures (sex education, contraception) and support safety nets to ensure women and children have financial stability actually see lower rates.

A timely film and a great reminder why the battle for women’s reproductive autonomy is far from over in the United States.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: FEMINIST FRIDAY: Christina Aguilera & Demi Lovato Refuse To "Fall In Line" With Society - GirlTalkHQ

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