Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
In recognition, HBO premieres a 19-minute documentary. “The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm” features 90-year-old Jack Feldman, and his 10-year-old great-grandson Elliott. They talk honestly and emotionally about the tattoo on Feldman’s forearm — plus his life in Poland, Auschwitz, and finally America.
The Chicago Tribune calls the film “impeccably crafted (and) warmly poetic.”
Director Amy Schatz says, “I was so moved to see their body language, the way they snuggled up with each other. The way they hold hands and lean on each other, it’s powerful to see that.”
The conversation between the old man and young boy is compelling. But the documentary is made even more powerful by hundreds of animated drawings from Westport filmmaker/painter Jeff Scher.
“The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm” premiered last Sunday at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan. A gallery with 500 of Scher’s paintings from the film will be displayed for 3 months. The artwork then goes on tour nationwide.
Earlier today, HBO also posted a video on the animation process. It includes a very interesting visit to Scher’s Westport studio.
“It’s hard to spend every day drawing a child’s face, marching down a corridor to their doom,” he says.
But he did it. The result is important for everyone — especially today’s kids.
And especially today.
Click below for HBO’s behind-the-scenes video: