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Docs in Salute: My Lucky Star

(This article expired 19.10.2014.)

On November 4, at 12 noon, the Library of Congress will screen MY LUCKY STAR (Má štastná hvezda) by Helena Třeštíková in the Pickford Theater. The film reveals the story of Zdenka Fantlová, a woman who survived the hell of many concentration camps.

About Docs In Salute:        
The Docs in Salute Series focuses on interesting personalities touched by Jewish themes. Share an afternoon uncovering courageous stories, triumph in the face of adversity, and memorable moments that changed the course of history. The series is presented in collaboration with the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation at the Library of Congress, the Embassy of the Czech Republic, Washington Jewish Film Festival and the Hebrew Language Table.

Films featured in the Docs in Salute Series          
October 29, 12 noon – Hitler, Stalin, and I (Hitler, Stalin a Ja
The film delves into the life story of Heda Margoliová-Kovalyová. Just married, she and her husband were forced to go through Nazi concentration camps. They survived, and he became Secretary of Trade, but was executed during the communist purges in the 1950s. (Dir. Helena Třeštíková, 2001, 56 minutes, in Czech with English subtitles)

November 4, 12 noon – My Lucky Star  (Má štastná hvezda)  
The film reveals the story of Zdenka Fantlová, a woman who survived the hell of many concentration camps. Zdenka Fantlová recounts her unique life story with its dramatic twists and turns–from her happy childhood during the pre-war era; deportation to Theresienstadt concentration camp, where she fell in love; her deportation to Auschwitz, Gross Rosen, Mauthausen concentration camps; the Death March and finally Bergen Belsen, where a British soldier saved her life. (Dir. Helena Třeštíková, 2004, 57 minutes, in Czech with English subtitles)

November 13, 12 noon – Beyond Words (Nesdělitelné) – w/director Helena Třeštíková   
On three nights in 1944, about 11,000 Czech Jews were killed in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Documentary filmmaker Helena Třeštíková recorded memories of the victims at Prague's Pinkas Synagogue; Beyond Words features a reading of the names of those who did not return from the camp and interviews with survivors. It also includes Nazi propaganda reels which were shown before all films in cinemas during the war. The victims of the first mass murder were people from what was called the family camp, where men, women and children were imprisoned together. (Dir. Helena Třeštíková, 2007, 55 minutes, in Czech with English subtitles)      

November 18, 12 noon – The Story of the Shipwrecked from the Patria (Pribeh trosecníku Patrie)
The film focuses on the Nov. 25, 1940, bombing of a ship carrying about 1,800 Jewish refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe to Palestine. (Dir. Pavel Štingl, 2006, 45 min., Czech with English subtitles)    

About the Directors:         
Helena Třeštíková studied documentary filmmaking at the Film and Television Academy of the Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU). Since 1974, she has worked as a professional filmmaker, shooting almost fifty documentary films of various lengths on themes of interpersonal relationships and social problems. In the course of time, she specialized in the longitudinal approach, following people’s life stories on a long-term basis. For a period of six years, her first series of time-lapse films followed the everyday lives of several young married couples from the moment of their wedding. For her film René (2008), she was awarded by the European Film Academy (EFA) the 2008 Prix Arte for Best Documentary Film.     
Pavel Štingl
studied documentary filmmaking at the Film and Television Academy of the Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU). In 1990, he started a series of political documentaries from the countries of the former Soviet Block and was awarded at numerous festivals: Japan Prix for Země bez hrobů (The Land without Graves), Prix Italia for Pozdrav ze země, kde včera znamenalo zítra (Greetings from the Country Where Yesterday Meant Tomorrow) and others. He filmed in Romania, Albania, various parts of the former Soviet Union, Kosovo, Nagorno-Karabakh, China, South Africa, Israel and many other places of political conflict. In 1995, Štingl launched his own production company K2, through which he produced several documentary series and a number of extensive coproduction documentaries. Among the most extensive are historical accounts of the twentieth century: Deník pana Pfitznera (The Diary of Mr. Pfitzner); Čtyři páry bot (Four Pairs of Shoes); Příběh trosečníků Patrie (The Survivors of the Shipwrecked Patria), film of the year at FIAT/IFTA; Příběh o zlém snu (A Story about a Bad Dream), MTF Japan Award. His films were screened at numerous international as well as domestic festivals, receiving a number of awards.

Event Details:      
Location: Library of Congress, Mary Pickford Theater
101 Independence Avenue              
James Madison Building, 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20950       

Admission is free. | Reservations are not required.    
For more information, contact Gail Shirazi at gshi@loc.gov.