I loved how journalist Shlomo Ben David described Vitch in the Israeli newspaper Maariv (January 24th). Although it was a brief article, it was one of the best written on the movie. Along with a photograph of a smiling Eddie Vitch standing on stage surrounded by glamorous, bare-legged dancers, he wrote “Vitch is a completely different narrative of that brutal time period than the one we are familiar with, informed by humor, humanity, artistic talent, and astonishing courage.”
Bringing the documentary about my Uncle Eddie Vitch to Israel, was for me like finally rounding a circle. My father searched for his brother Eddie all his life, somehow sensing that he might have not perished in the Holocaust like his other 6 siblings and his parents, yet despite great search efforts in Israel, Poland, Paris, and even the US, we could not find the tip of the thread that would lead us to Eddie’s story while my father was alive.
My father died in 2004 just as the internet became more robust, exploding with information, and finally we were able to follow the thread of Eddie’s life during the war and after. So, in some ways Eddie, through VITCH keeps on living, just like my father suspected.
We held three great screening of VITCH in Israel, several interviews and received lots of interest in further screenings and more interviews. People were very moved by the story; I saw more tears during the screening in Israel than anywhere else, after all, in Israel everyone is affected one way or another by the Holocaust……everyone carries a family story of Survival, whether they come from Eastern Europe or from one of the Arab countries or born in Israel.
Eddie’s story stirred up lots of emotions, lots of discussion and much curiosity. In Israel people are inundated with movies, books and stories about the Holocaust, but our audiences commented that VITCH is an unusual story, worth telling, and one that makes you think and reflect on for a long time afterwards.
Director Sigal Bujman received lots of compliments for her excellent directing, very sensitively done, and for leaving everyone with more questions than answers. It allows the audience to stay engaged as they continue to puzzle over the mysterious story of Eddie Vitch. I can only add that the experience has left me humbled and impressed by the responses to my family’s intriguing but heartfelt story.