2 November 2009
Press Release
Note No. 6230

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Note to Correspondents

United Nations to Screen Film on Holocaust Art on 9 November

In observance of the anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom on 9 November 1938, the United Nations Department of Public Information will screen the documentary film, “As Seen Through These Eyes”,which conveys images and messages from a number of eyewitnesses of the Holocaust.

The event will be held in the Trusteeship Council Chamber at United Nations Headquarters in New York, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. next Monday, 9 November 2009.

Hilary Helstein, the film’s writer, director, and producer, travelled the world over the past decade to compile interviews with artists who survived the Holocaust.  The documentary shows how these survivors produced an account that history could not -- a journal of the Holocaust as seen through the eyes of the artists.  These artists rebelled against the Nazis and risked their lives by doing what they were forbidden to do -- create.

Narrated by Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet Maya Angelou, and produced in association with the Sundance Channel, this 70-minute documentary aims to combat prejudice, bigotry and intolerance.  The words and the images of the survivor artists are profoundly moving, communicating horror and hope artistically.  For them, art was and still is a means of survival, either directly by saving their lives during the Holocaust or by helping them to endure and move forward from the unbearable past. 

The Department of Public Information will also launch one of its newest publications that evening, titled, “The Holocaust and the United Nations Discussion Papers Journal".  The publication includes a foreword by Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communication and Public Information, and nine papers drafted by experts on the Holocaust and prevention of genocide.  The journal, aimed at secondary school and university students, provides a forum for individual scholars representing a variety of cultures and perspectives, to raise issues for debate and further study in the classroom.

The event is organized by the Holocaust and United Nations Outreach Programme of the Department of Public Information's Outreach Division, mandated by General Assembly resolution 60/7 to mobilize civil society for Holocaust remembrance and education, in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide. Its activities include a film series, seminars, training seminars, discussion papers and innovative online information products.  For more information, please contact Ms. Kimberly Mann at 212-963-6835 or at mann@un.org or visit www.un.org/holocaustremembrance.

For more information on the film, please contact MenemshaFilms, Heidi Bogin Oshin, telephone 310.452.1775, Fax 310.452.3740, heidio@menemshafilms.com or email info@asseenthroughtheseeyes.com.  For details on the production, please visit www.AsSeenThroughTheseEyes.com.

All guests must pre-register for the event at Holocaustremembrance@un.org and present photo identification to pass through United Nations Security at the visitors’ entrance at 46 Street and First Avenue by 6:00 pm.

For media accreditation, please visit:  www.un.org/media/accreditation.

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For information media • not an official record