The Lion of Judah (NR)
A documentary written and directed by Matt Mindell, tells the story of Holocaust survivor Leo Zisman. The film follows Zisman as he leads a group of young adults back to Poland and Auschwitz, where he suffered through humanity's darkest period. Through this journey, he hopes to help the next generation better understand the incomprehensible, and turn their knowledge into action that can help end genocide forever. In the film, the group retraces the tragic path Zisman was forced to travel during the Holocaust, from the Warsaw Ghetto where he was separated from his family to the Stutthof concentration camp. From there he was sent to Auschwitz, where he survived the war. Woven within the context of Leo's tragedy, the film features trip participants who speak of their own search for answers and identity, including several who are descendants of concentration camp survivors. Young Poles are also asked their opinions of Jews and the Holocaust, some sadly unchanged from their parents and grandparents deep-rooted anti-Semitic feelings. As the film analyzes these viewpoints, it is discovered that the Holocaust is not really a thing of the past. The Lion of Judah was awarded the Best Documentary Feature at the 2012 Film Festival of Colorado. It also received an Award of Excellence at the 2012 Los Angeles Movie Awards in the feature length documentary category, and an honorable mention for documentary film at the 2012 Metropolitan Film Festival.