Building a film story...
"PEARLS ON A STRING: The Small Miracles of Charles Middleberg" threads together luminous story pearls of hope, one by one, sifted from the debris of a man's epic life, journey and fate.
"PEARLS," our new documentary film-in-the-works, is a series of vignette remembrances of a Holocaust survivor looking back at his 9 year old self in Paris, France, from his vantage point at 90 years of age.
Backstory to a Film...
I first met Mr. Middleberg at one of his public presentations on his memories of the Holocaust. He emphasized his continuing message against fostering hate. It may seem like an obvious message yet he is in a rarified group of people who know first hand -- it is not a given that hate will be vanquished.
What is remarkable is that, despite great horrors witnessed and endured and tragic family losses, Middleberg remains an optimist. Upon reflection, I realized he had upended my expectations. His life is focused on a string of pearls, the "small miracles" he says have been the hallmark of his life. From that moment, I decided to commit to a film that would document and broadcast the uplifting example that Middleberg has set for the rest of us.
"As youngsters in the Occupation, my brother and I were sent to the country to be protected, adopted by a Dutch Christian family. We had to observe their religious practices to fit in. One day there was a festival at the church. I emerged from the church and sat on a curb sobbing uncontrollably. I didn't know why." (paraphrased from Middleberg's presentation)