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The Presence of Their Absence Showing

The Matzevah Foundation, in partnership with the Nashville Jewish Film Festival, is pleased to invite you to the Nashville premiere of the documentary The Presence of Their Absence.


Wednesday, November 13

6:30 p.m.

Brentwood Library


8109 Concord Road, Brentwood, TN 37027


This is a free event and we invite you to let us know of your attendance by visiting our Eventbrite link here.

Following the showing of the film, a short panel discussion with film director Donna Kanter, Fred Zaidman, and Steven Reece of The Matzevah Foundation will conclude the evening. Light refreshments will also be available.


About the film


A greatest source of the Holocaust comes from testimonies of survivors through memory reconstruction in documentary films.


Filmmaker Donna Kanter always wondered what happened after they rebuilt their lives with post-war children who inherited their trauma.  Did the children fill in the blanks if their parents could not speak about their experiences? Or were they inundated with harrowing images?


In Los Angeles, California, Fred Zaidman’s mother Renate spoke often of her pain but without full facts.  His father Wolf virtually shut down.  From the contradictions of too much emotional information and only scant clues, Fred lost a sense of belonging that disassociated him from his present. 


Now, in his early sixties, Fred embarks on a journey to discover what had happened to his family in Poland during the Shoah.  His primary goal is to find a single photo of his grandparents. With only the will to push his limits, Fred constructs his family tree.  

Then, he is dropped into an unknown that will reconnect him to his past.  With helpers abroad, he begins to unshackle his own pain and construct his future.  Finally, from Atlanta, a Baptist minister leads Fred to a graveyard in Poland where he will rescue from oblivion a single family’s fate. 


And in his quest for details that endow his identity, Fred draws us into  an experience that transcends the larger catastrophe – the will to love.


Learn more by visiting the film's website.




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