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Film

The heroic Polish couple
photo: First Run Features

The second film of a projected trilogy on post-Holocaust Judaism (following 1997's A Life Apart: Hasidism in America), Menachem Daum and Oren Rudavsky's admirable documentary Hiding and Seeking centers on Daum's successful search for the Polish couple who hid his father-in-law during the German occupation. Alarmed by his two adult Orthodox sons' increasing mistrust of the non-Jewish world, Daum brings them to Poland on a quest that he sees as emblematic of the Jews' struggle to retain "faith and tolerance" in the wake of incomprehensible evil. Such philosophical ambitions notwithstanding, Hiding and Seeking is basically a personal essay, and the undeniably moving family saga takes over completely in the film's second half.

While this story largely revolves around long-ago events, many of its most striking moments involve modern technology—computers play an important role—and the film reaches its emotional climax with a trans-Atlantic cell phone call, suggesting the ways the digital age has altered our relationship to our own pasts.


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