More Precious Than Pearls
A Documentary Film
About One Man’s Faith
After the Holocaust
http://www.geocities.com/moreprecious2004/

DIR/PROD: Naftali Robert Friedman
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 50 minutes

Faith after the Holocaust is a theme that is
rarely touched upon in Holocaust-related
documentaries, let alone examined deeply.

This documentary film attempts to explore, in
an engaging and compelling manner the
complex emotional, intellectual and spiritual
struggles faced by a survivor of Nazi
concentration camps who immigrated to
America after the war (via Northern Ireland
and London).

The film examines how he succeeded in
achieving self-renewal as a human being and
as a committed Jew, without forgetting the
vivid, yet, incomprehensibly painful memories
of the past,obscuring them from those around
him or suffering from paralyzing depression
or anxiety.?

The film centers on the filmmaker’s father,
Alex Friedman, a Slovakian Jew and a scion
of a rabbinical family who is an importer of
cultured pearls from the Far East based in
New York’s 47th Street jewelry district. He
is known, by his family, business colleagues
and his community, for his warmth and friendly
disposition as well as his myriad volunteer
activities.

We join Mr. Friedman as he returns to Central
and Eastern Europe (with his wife, three of his
four children and his 12 year-old grandson,
Ami) to reclaim the past by visiting the
personal landmarks of his childhood and the
concentration camps he was interned at
during the war.

The film describes Mr. Friedman’s ancestors
and the heritage that that they passed down to
him. On location in Svalyava (Ukraine) Kosice
(Slovakia) and in various villages in the
surrounding area, Mr. Friedman shares how
the Nazis destroyed his entire family, his
community in and its way of life. He recalls
family and communal experiences growing up
that will convey to the viewer a personal sense
of what was lost in the war to one man, to the
Jewish people and to the entire family of
mankind.

Again on location, Mr. Friedman describes in a
poignant, but unsentimental, way his arrival at
Auschwitz with his father and brother and his
internment at Ebensee, a subcamp of
Mathausen nestled in the scenic Austrian Alps
near Salzburg.

He managed to physically and spiritually
survive the death camps and his faith in God
and in humanity was restored an ocean away
from the chaos at a Jewish Agency sponsored
kibbutz-like “hachshara” farm for
child refugees in Mislille, a quiet,
peaceful town on the coast of Northern Island.

After several months in Northern Ireland,
Mr.Friedman accepted the offer of some of
the madrichim (counselors) from the religous
Zionist movement and joined them as they
returned to their families in London. They
helped him settle in London where he was
taken in by a family as a boarder and where he
found work in Hatton Gardens as an apprentice
diamond cutter.

It was there he first heard of the declaration
of the newly established State of Israel
and made his first donation to the newborn
country from one of his first paychecks.

After several years in London, Mr. Friedman
eventually emigrated to the United States and
moved to New York where he resides with
his wife.