Jewish Film Society opens film series with ’50 Children’

“50 Children”

The Jewish Film Society will start its spring film series with “50 Children” at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 8 in the Jewish Community Center’s Arts and Education Building. Tickets are free to Jewish Film Society members and $10 for the general public.

One of the most compelling programs of the most recent Jewish Book Festival featured Steven Pressman, the filmmaker and the author of the book by the same name.  It tells the story of two ordinary Americans, 50 innocent lives and one unforgettable journey.

In the spring of 1939, a Jewish lawyer and his wife left their comfortable home and two children in Philadelphia and embarked on a bold and improbable plan to rescue 50 children from Nazi-controlled Vienna. Despite the oncoming horrors of the Holocaust, Gil and Eleanor Kraus bravely traveled into the heart of the Nazi empire in an effort to save innocent lives. Their unlikely mission would turn an ordinary American couple into extraordinary heroes.

The second film,  “Beneath the  Helmet: From High School to the Home Front,” a St. Louis premiere, will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 16 at the Galleria 6-St. Louis Cinemas. The coming-of-age story follows five Israeli high school graduates who are drafted into the army. At the age of 18, away from their homes, families and friends, these young Israelis undergo a demanding journey, revealing the core of who they are and who they want to be. St. Louis native Pamela Fox Clayman, one of the film’s producers, will introducing the film. This film is co-sponsored by the Jewish Student Union. Free to Jewish Film Society members and $10 for the general public.

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The third film, “Jealous of the Birds,” will be shown at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 17 at the JCC’s Arts and Education Building. The feature-length documentary offers the emotional history of a small community of Holocaust survivors who remained in Frankfurt, Germany after the liberation from Nazi death camps. It asks the question: Why would a survivor choose to remain in Germany shoulder to shoulder with their perpetrators? This film is $6 for the general public and free to Jewish Film Society members.

Call 314-442-3179 to order tickets. For more information on how to join the Jewish Film Society, email [email protected].