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Greenwich Entertainment Acquires Holocaust Film ‘Love It Was Not’ – Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: Greenwich Entertainment acquired North American distribution rights for well-received Holocaust documentary I love it was not, who will be playing Hot Docs this month.

The film by Israeli filmmaker Maya Sarfaty traces the true and poignant love story between a prisoner and a Nazi. Beautiful and full of life, Helena Citron, is taken to Auschwitz as a teenager (one of the first 1000 transported to the concentration camp), and soon finds unlikely solace under the protection of Franz Wunsch, a barely older SS officer. old man who falls in love. with her and her magnetic singing voice. Risking execution, they continued their forbidden romantic relationship for two and a half years until the end of the war and the liberation of the camp.

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Thirty years later, a letter arrives from Wunsch’s wife asking Helena to “reciprocate” – testify on Wunsch’s behalf at his war crimes trial. Faced with an impossible decision, Helena must choose. Will she help the man who brutalized so many lives, but saved his?

Filmmaker Sarfaty has worked painstakingly through the archives of the Israeli Yad Vashem Foundation and Steven Spielberg’s Holocaust, searching for recordings of women listed as workers in the “Kanada” facility in Auschwitz and listening to mentions Helena and Franz in their personal survival stories.

The documentary premiered at Docaviv where it won the festival’s top prize, the Frank Lowy Award for Best Israeli Film, and made its international debut at IDFA. It is based on the Oscar winning short film Sarfaty in 2016 The most beautiful woman. Green, which will be releasing the film this fall.

Reconstructions of key scenes take the form of multi-layered photomontages using only historical photos and archival footage from the era. These are merged into new compositions shot in a black studio.

Pic was produced by Nir Sa’ar and Kurt Langbein with Guy Lavie, Koby Gal-Raday and Danna Stern as executive producers. Ed Arentz of Greenwich negotiated the deal with Philippa Kowarsky of Cinephil on behalf of the filmmakers.

“Making this film has been a long and difficult journey,” said director Maya Sarfaty. “It started with a single image of an inmate at Auschwitz, went through a small apartment in Williamsburg, New York, continued to the courtroom in Vienna and ended up in the private archives of an SS officer in Switzerland. Knowing that the film is now coming to America makes me both proud and excited. I have no doubt that audiences in all states will appreciate the larger-than-life love story of Helena, the Jewish prisoner of Auschwitz and her captor SS officer Franz Wunsch.

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