A Journey with Purpose
Chicago International REEL Shorts Festival
Sunday, September 9, 2012, 2:00pm
Film Row Cinema @ Columbia College, Chicago
1104 S. Wabash, Top Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60605
A short documentary directed by Gail Becker and written and produced by Gail Becker, Ricky Mintz and Joshua Miller.
Listen to KCRW
interview of Gail and Joshua talking about the film. Click Here
Martin Becker survived four terrible years as a child prisoner in Auschwitz-Birkenau. In 2007, he returned to the death camp for the first time since his imprisonment. He traveled there with his only daughter, Gail, and his grandson, Joshua, who was then age nine, the same age Martin was when he was imprisoned at Auschwitz.
Martin, 83, was apprehensive about returning, but did so at the request of his daughter. "My father was getting older, and I realized that my son, Joshua, was the same age as my father when he was taken into the concentration camp," Gail said. "I wanted Joshua to hear from his grandfather what happened there and to see, firsthand, where it happened. It wasn't just history. It was his history."
Gail was determined to take this journey so Joshua could understand his grandfather's tragic past and to establish another permanent record to pass along to future generations. The film serves as a tangible way for people of all ages to convey the importance of using the past in order to prevent injustice in the future.
In the end, Gail realized that this 'journey' truly did have a purpose. It allowed her father, after more than 70 years, to say goodbye to his demons. For her son, Joshua, it gave him an internal will to fight society's injustice as he finds his place in the world. And for Gail, who grew up thinking that everyone's father had a tattooed number on his arm, it strengthened her own resolve that her son would continue in bearing the responsibility of ensuring that the past would never again repeat.