Who Will Write Our History

Watch Who Will Write Our History

  • 2018
  • 1 hr 35 min
  • 7.5  (210)
  • 83

Who Will Write Our History is a 2018 documentary film directed by Roberta Grossman that tells the story of a group of Jewish journalists, writers, and scholars, who formed a secret archive called the Oyneg Shabes during the Holocaust in the Warsaw Ghetto. The film offers a unique perspective on the Holocaust, as it emphasizes the importance of preserving cultural and historical artifacts in times of crisis.

The movie is based on the book by Samuel Kassow, Who Will Write Our History: Rediscovering a Hidden Archive from the Warsaw Ghetto. The central figure of the film is Emanuel Ringelblum, a historian and Jewish activist who created the Oyneg Shabes in 1940, shortly after the Germans established the Warsaw Ghetto. Ringelblum and his colleagues understood that the Nazis were systematically destroying Jewish communities and culture, and that it was their duty to document and preserve the Jewish life in the ghetto.

The Oyneg Shabes was a complex organization that consisted of different groups, including a research department, a literary department, a visual department, and an underground press. The members of the Oyneg Shabes risked their lives to collect materials such as diaries, letters, newspapers, photographs, artwork, songs, and even food ration cards. They hid these materials in milk cans, metal boxes, and other containers, and buried them in the ground or in walls, attics, and cellars.

The Oyneg Shabes was not only a heroic act of resistance, but also a way of maintaining dignity and hope in the face of extreme adversity. The members of the archive saw themselves as cultural producers rather than victims. They insisted on documenting not only the horror of the Holocaust, but also the richness and diversity of Jewish life before the war. They wanted to show that the Jews were not just passive targets of Nazi violence, but active agents of history.

The film uses a mixture of archival footage, reenactments, interviews, and animation to reconstruct the history of the Oyneg Shabes. The actors who play the members of the archive are exceptional, especially Jowita Budnik as Rachel Auerbach, a writer and researcher who survived the war and helped to recover the hidden archive. Piotr Jankowski and Piotr Glowacki also give nuanced performances as Ringelblum and Hersz Wasser, another key figure of the Oyneg Shabes.

The film is well-paced and well-researched, and it manages to convey the complexity and urgency of the Oyneg Shabes project. It shows the incredible human cost of the Holocaust, as well as the resilience and creativity of the Jewish people. It also raises important questions about the relationship between memory and history, documentation and interpretation, and individual and collective identity.

In the words of one of the journalists of the Oyneg Shabes, Hersh Graber, "It isn't enough to remember. Everyone can remember. We have to preserve the memory." Who Will Write Our History is a powerful reminder of the importance of preserving cultural artifacts in times of crisis, and of the human capacity for creativity and resistance. It is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of the Holocaust, Jewish culture, or archival studies.

Who Will Write Our History is a 2018 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5 and a MetaScore of 83.

Who Will Write Our History
Where to Watch Who Will Write Our History
Who Will Write Our History is available to watch free on The Roku Channel Free and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Philo, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Who Will Write Our History for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 35 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (210)
  • Metascore