Film Series at ICM to Open with ‘Defiant Requiem’
Israel Congregation of Manchester (ICM) is proud to present ‘Defiant Requiem,’ an Emmy-nominated documentary about artistic courage and hope in the Theresienstadt (Terezín) Concentration Camp during World War II. The film will be screened at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 16, at Manchester Community Library (MCL), and is the first of four in a series of Jewish films. It is open to the public; admission is by free-will donation. ‘Defiant Requiem’ tells the true and inspiring story of a brilliant young Czech conductor who recruited 150 fellow inmates and taught them Verdi’s ‘Requiem,’ which they performed for fellow prisoners, high ranking SS officers and the International Red Cross in the early 1940s. Ostensibly designed to support the charade that concentration camp prisoners were not only treated well but also flourishing, these performances enriched the prisoners’ souls amidst unfathomable horror. Verdi’s ‘Requiem’ became a work of defiance and resistance against the Nazis, enabling the prisoners to ‘sing to the Nazis what they could not say to them.’
“We’re honored that Murry Sidlin, the film’s creative inspiration and musical director, will introduce the documentary and then lead us in a Q&A afterwards,” explains Carol Goldsmith, co-organizer of ICM’s Jewish Film Series. “As a distinguished conductor, music educator and artistic innovator with a worldwide reach, Maestro Sidlin will talk about the creative process, based on years of research and the power of music to touch the depths of our beings.” Sidlin also created the live concert-drama performance, ‘Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin,’ which has been performed from New York, Jerusalem and Budapest to Washington, Berlin, Boston and Prague.
Future films in the ICM Series will include ‘Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy’ on July 23; ‘Sugihara: Conspiracy of Kindness’ on July 30; and ‘Fanny’s Journey’ on August 6. All films begin at 7 p.m. at MCL. For details, call 802-362-4578.