Witness the healing powers of music and friendship as Holocaust survivors share their stories with songwriters on 450 PBS stations. The one-hour documentary will air from April 26 to May 24, then in the fall.
WE REMEMBER: SONGS OF SURVIVORS will premiere the week of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Tuesday, April 26 at 8:00 p.m. ET on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS Video app.
WE REMEMBER: SONGS OF SURVIVORS follows four singer-songwriters (Michael Veitch, Elizabeth Clark, Kelleigh McKenzie, Jude Roberts) hired by community arts organization SageArts in New York’s Hudson Valley. Through a program offered by the Jewish Family Service of Orange County, they visit local Holocaust survivors to create original songs based on their conversations. The film documents the relationships that develop and the songwriting process over several months, culminating in a moving live concert where survivors and songwriters are celebrated by friends, family and community.
“At a time when the world is facing the horrors of war and hatred, we wanted to tell this hopeful story of perseverance and love,” said WE REMEMBER: SONGS OF SURVIVORS co-producer Ilene Cutler.
In-depth interviews with the survivors – Rita, Tibor, Tommy and Freide – and access to rare personal archives lead to revealing stories, many of which have been buried deep in their memories for decades. At the same time, the songwriters – Michael, Jude, Kelleigh and Elizabeth – are creating video diaries to document their own thoughts and feelings about the experience of telling the story of a Holocaust survivor through song. . Michael reflects, “Working with Rita has been a life changing experience for me and I know all of the artists on this project have received a similar gift from writing songs with their Holocaust survivor.”
“There are many documentaries about the Holocaust. However, few have taken such a unique approach to telling these horrific stories. We wanted to shed light on the devastating experiences of Holocaust survivors while celebrating the possibilities of healing through the power of music,” said WE REMEMBER: SONGS OF SURVIVORS co-producer Tim Miller. “Little did we know this film, with its powerful message, would change the lives of survivors and songwriters alike.”
“PBS is honored to shed light on this moving and powerful project, which illuminates how music can uniquely commemorate these stories of resilience,” said Zara Frankel, Director of Programming and Development at PBS.
Produced by Tim Miller and Ilene Cutler, WE REMEMBER: SONGS OF SURVIVORS was written and edited by Timothy Guetterman.
WE REMEMBER: SONGS OF SURVIVORS will be available to stream concurrently with the broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV , Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO. Members of the PBS station can watch many series, documentaries and specials through PBS Passport.
Check out the 3 collaborative concerts used in the documentary which were performed by the musicians and survivors on: sagearts.org/events