Acclaimed Film ‘Woman in Gold’ to Screen at United Nations Headquarters, 28 January

Note No. 6470
25 January 2016

Acclaimed Film ‘Woman in Gold’ to Screen at United Nations Headquarters, 28 January

The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, in partnership with the World Jewish Congress and the Weinstein Company, will screen the acclaimed film Woman in Gold on Thursday, 28 January, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., at United Nations Headquarters in New York.  With support from the Weinstein Company and the global network of United Nations information centres, screenings in 25 countries will take place in English, French, German and Spanish in observance of the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust.

Participants at the New York event will include Cristina Gallach, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information; Simon Curtis, Director, Woman in Gold; Evelyn Sommer, Chair, World Jewish Congress, North America; Monica Dugot, International Director of Restitution, Christie’s; and Simon Wesley A. Fisher, Director of Research, Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc., and Head of the Claims Conference-World Jewish Restitution Organization Looted Art and Cultural Property Initiative.

“By telling personal stories of the Holocaust, such as the one in Woman in Gold, we are reaching new generations and many other people around the world to remind them of the universal lessons of the Holocaust,” said Under-Secretary-General Gallach.  “These stories help us recognize that one individual, like Maria Altmann, can make a difference.”

Directed by Simon Curtis, Woman in Gold is the remarkable true story of one woman’s journey to reclaim her heritage and seek justice for what happened to her family.  Sixty years after she fled Vienna during the Second World War, Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), an elderly Jewish woman, starts her journey to retrieve family possessions seized by the Nazis, among them, Gustav Klimt's famous painting, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I.  Together with her inexperienced but plucky young lawyer, Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), she embarks upon a battle that takes them all the way to the heart of the Austrian establishment and the United States Supreme Court, forcing her to confront difficult truths about the past along the way.

“Those Holocaust survivors lucky enough to rebuild their lives and regain their humanity still carry with them the burden of suffering, loss and injustice,” said World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder.  “The story of Woman in Gold is a perfect example of the justice now being served with the return of art and property looted by the Nazis.  It is a small but triumphant step for survivors and their heirs, who will continue to fight for their rightful ownership to these assets and expose the truth behind the Nazi theft, and the post-war grab by museums and Governments.”

Guests may register to attend the screening at www.un.org/holocaustremembrance.  Photo identification is required to pass through United Nations security screening at the 1st Avenue and 46th Street entrance.

The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme was established by General Assembly resolution 60/7 in 2006 in order to further education about and remembrance of the Holocaust, and thereby help prevent future acts of genocide.  Its multifaceted programme includes online and print educational products, seminars, exhibitions, a film series and the annual worldwide observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, held on 27 January.

The World Jewish Congress is the international organization representing Jewish communities in 100 countries to Governments, Parliaments and international organizations.

Media contact:  Aaron J. Buckley, United Nations Department of Public Information, tel.: +1 212 963 4632, e-mail:  buckleya@un.org.  For information on the film, please contact Brad Thompson at e-mail:  brad.thompson@weinsteinco.com.

For media accreditation, please contact the United Nations Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit at www.un.org/en/media/accreditation.

For information media. Not an official record.