Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 1997
Country: United States
Run Time: 60 minutes

The century swings shut on hinges oiled with the blood of millions of victims of more than one Holocaust. This feature and the short film that precedes it provide a fascinating backward scrutiny of the age's most infamous people and events. "In 1981 I found a Pandora's Box of my grandmother's film," narrates filmmaker Lisa Lewenz in A LETTER WITHOUT WORDS. Raised in a Christian environment, the American-born Lewenz discovered her true heritage, in approximately 20 hours of meticulously-labeled home-movie reels (later supplemented by detailed diaries) hoarded by her late grandmother, a member of a prosperous Jewish family in Germany in the 1920s and '30s. Here is never-before-seen footage of Albert Einstein and Brigitte Helm, possibly the earliest color shots from the Welmar Republic and Palestine, and an SS officer striding dangerously near the camera- for independent filmmaking was now outlawed under the Third Reich. In posthumous collaboration with her ancestor (and a German-speaking lip reader), Lewenz brings to life tumultuous history you only thought you knew.

Lisa Lewenz

Lisa Lewenz

Lisa Lewenz

Lisa Lewenz, Ella Arnhold Lewenz

Ruth Schell

Principal Cast
Lisa Lewenz, Annemargeret Lewenz Osterkamp, Gerda Lewenz Wallach, Eduard A. Wallach, Gerhard Arnhold, Dorothea Lewenz

Film Contact
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