2021 Annual Assessment

Ver Vet Blaybn (Who Will Remain) (Emily Felder and Christa P. Whitney) is a documentary film about the great Yiddish poet Abraham Sutzkever, who died 11 years ago at the age of 96 in Tel Aviv. Along with the film Black Honey, released three years ago, Who Will Remain provides a taste of Sutzkever’s distinctive poetry, which has been translated from Yiddish into many other languages, including Hebrew and English. The two documentaries also illuminate Sutzkever’s extraordinary life story: the smuggling and concealment of Jewish books in the Vilna Ghetto (the Paper Brigade); the mystic faith in poetry that may have saved his life during the Holocaust; the daring rescue mission, with Stalin’s involvement, in which a Russian aircraft was sent to extract Sutzkever and his wife from the city in which they were hiding and fighting for the partisans; his testimony during the Nuremberg trials; and his life as an anonymous Yiddish poet in Zionist Tel Aviv, a society alienated from its exilic past and from Yiddish culture.

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