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[Savannah-help-public] The Optimists now playing in NY - what make every

From: address@hidden
Subject: [Savannah-help-public] The Optimists now playing in NY - what make everyone so excited about this film
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2005 05:49:45 -0500

The rescue of the Bulgarian Jews from the Holocaust

Now Playing in the Quad Cinema in New York

“A rare Documentary . . . compact and elegant.”
- Dana Stevens - New York Times

“As a human sentiment, it’s touching to behold
- James Crawford - Village Voice

“A rare instance of humanity during the Holocaust.”
- Chad Frade - Time Out New York

“A miraculous sharp movie.”  êêê 
- Patrick Z. McGavin, Chicago Tribune. 

“Individuals triumph over odds in inspiring ‘Optimists’” êêê
- Hedy Weiss - Chicago Sun Times

“The message is so powerful . . . one of the best films of the year.”êêêê 
- George O. Singleton, 

“Spellbinding. A message of inspiration and hope.” êêêê 
- Bruce Ingram, Pioneer Press.

“This film celebrates the human spirit.
It offers hope that people can learn to live together in peace

- Leora Frucht, The Jerusalem Post

“The Optimists is a wonderful film.
The title refers not only to a Bulgarian jazz band, but to how the audience feels after watching such a moving testament to human decency.

- Annette Insdorf, Author of “Indelible Shadows: Film and the Holocaust.”

“The Optimists in a beautiful and dramatic way, tells what a community in extremis can do to help others in distress. It is a powerful and heartwarming story which deserves to be seen and discussed.”
- Rabbi Peter Knobel, Beth Emet Free Synagogue.

“This film teaches how commitment to justice and respect for others can triumph over oppression.
A must-see for anyone learning or teaching the Holocaust.

 - Dr. Shani Beth-Halachmy, Professor of Educational Psychology, National College of Education.



“Everyone is entitled to his own faith.
No one should violate the intimate, spiritual life of another.
That’s how I think now, that’s how I have thought in the past,
and if I live any longer, that’s how I’ll think then.”

- Bishop Boris Kharalampiev, the Bulgarian Orthodox priest
who helped stop the deportation of the Jewish citizens of his city in 1943.

The Optimists tells the story of how the 50,000 Jews living in Bulgaria survived the Holocaust despite intensive efforts by the Bulgarian Government to deport them to the death camps. Their rescue happened during the same time period that the Nazis and their Bulgarian allies had successfully deported the 11,343 Jews of Bulgarian-occupied Thrace and Macedonia. And yet, after waiting all day at deportation centers, the first targeted Bulgarian Jews were simply told to go home. Fifty thousand people didn't die because Bulgarian Christians and Muslims found ways to protect them from their would-be murderers.

Individuals and organizations made a difference. Ordinary people stood up for their Jewish friends and neighbors. The Church, certain Bulgarian Parliament members, trade unions, professional guilds, and the Jewish community itself all helped defeat the Nazis' demands for mass deportations and the Bulgarian government’s attempts to comply with those demands.

This powerful documentary informs and inspires audiences of all ages and backgrounds with its blend of personal and historical narrative and its abiding optimism about the human spirit.

The documentary by award-winning filmmaker Jacky Comforty, whose family was among those survived, has long been determined to tell this story on film.

The Optimists is the result of 12 years of independent research and production. The film was screened at numerous film festivals around the world and is winner of the Peace Prize in the Berlin International Film Festival; First Prize Winner in the category of "Documenting the Jewish Experience," Jerusalem International Film Festival; Winner of CINE Golden Eagle; and Best Documentary at the Hope and Dreams Film Festival.

The Optimists is not a Jewish story only: It is a universal lesson about religious tolerance, and about the power of individuals to do good, to protect human and civil rights, and to positively affect the course of history. It offers hope and is powerful in its ability to inform and inspire all audiences.

The film is a perfect springboard for discussions about education, ethics, and Jewish history and for interfaith dialog.

Showing This week at the Quad Cinema 34 west 13th Street Manhattan

Show times 1:00, 3:30, 5:30, 7:30, 9:45

Director Jacky Comforty available for Q and A after the 1:00 PM and 7:30 PM shows


To schedule a special group screening or to plan an event involving The Optimists,
please e-mail Jacky Comforty
address@hidden or call 847-475-0791, or toll free 866-690-6992.

For more information, fliers, reviews, video excerpts, or a press kit, please go to the Web page





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