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Who We Are: Four Films, One People

A filmmaker searches for the soul of her famous father. A gay playwright erupts in fury at government indifference to an epidemic. Two doctors agonize over the wasting away of their son. A 10-year-old asks his great-grandfather an innocent question. Ordinary people facing the extraordinary are the heart of exceptional documentaries, and The Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center is proud to present four such films, followed by conversations with their subjects. Designed by Sheila Nevins, former president of HBO Documentary Films, the series includes:

ARTHUR MILLER: WRITER | Wednesday, October 10arthur-miller
Filmmaker Rebecca Miller celebrates the life of her Pulitzer Prize–winning father, from his childhood in New York to his first Broadway triumph, his stormy marriage to Marilyn Monroe and his trial by the House Un-American Activities Committee. This is the private side of Arthur Miller that few but his daughter saw. After the film, Rebecca Miller will chat about her father with the film’s producers, Damon Cardasis and Cindy Tolan, and Sheila Nevins.

larry-kramerIN LOVE & ANGER | Wednesday, November 14
Larry Kramer was a successful screenwriter (Women in Love) when a mysterious disease began killing his friends. The story of his emergence as the political firebrand who ignited AIDS activism demonstrates what happens when one person has the courage to challenge authority. After the film, Larry Kramer will discuss his activism with Sheila Nevins.

life-according-to-sameLIFE ACCORDING TO SAM | Wednesday, February 13
Sam Berns was just two years old when his parents, both physicians, were told he had a rare rapid-aging disorder with no cure: Progeria. By the time he celebrated his bar mitzvah, he had reached the average age of death for children with this disease. While his parents, Dr. Leslie Gordon and Dr. Scott Berns, engaged in a relentless pursuit of a treatment, Sam accepted his condition with humor and grace. After the film, Drs. Leslie Gordon and Scott Berns will talk about their son and their continuing work toward a cure for Progeria and other debilitating diseases of aging with Sheila Nevins.


Elliott Saiontz adored his 90-year-old great-grandfather Jack, especially Jack’s stories about soccer games and collecting hats during his childhood in Poland. But when the 10-year-old asked about the tattoo on his arm, Jack had to find a way to tell Elliott about the other side of his life: the ghetto, the loss of his family and surviving Auschwitz. After the film, Elliott and Stacy Saiontz, Amy Schatz (producer) and Jeff Scher (animator) will join in conversation with Sheila Nevins.

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