Love and Sorrow

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: Narrative Feature
GENRE: Drama
STATUS: Development


Love and Sorrow tells a tragic and tender story of the holocaust to a new generation who knows very little of this history.


Love and Sorrow is the true story of four Jewish teenagers coming of age, falling in love, losing everything, and surviving many brutal and harrowing events during the Holocaust. It’s an amazing journey full of tragedy, inspiration and love that unfolds during a heartbreaking period that must be remembered.


Love and Sorrow opens in a small town in Hungary at the end of 1938, at a time when anti-Jewish laws and anti-Semitism are reaching a fever pitch, seeping into every aspect of daily life. Throughout Europe, Jews are the target of blame and hatred, and harassment of Jews, young and old, has become institutionalized. Meanwhile, on a clear September day bombs begin dropping in Poland as the country is attacked. Weeks later, German troops invade and the city is under German control as Europe enters World War II. This sets in motion four dramatic stories of love, loss and survival for Anna, Paul, Stefan and Lusia. Throughout the next seven years they will fight through unbelievable hardships as their family members perish one by one, and their own survival is continually threatened. Love and Sorrow is written by Joe Gantz, an Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker, and his wife, Corine Gantz, a novelist. Joe’s films have been nominated for best documentary Emmy four times and won once. Joe’s last film was the Emmy nominated HBO documentary, American Winter. American Winter is about families falling out of the middle class into poverty, and the film also had a key role in the movement to raise the minimum wage across the country. Joe has also just completed two documentary feature films. One is on people who are in the trenches, putting their lives on the line to fight climate change, titled The Race to Save The World. And the other is about how stem cell and regenerative medicine is fundamentally changing medicine from treatments to cures, titled Ending Disease. Joe’s work has been critically acclaimed for powerfully capturing the intimate details of real lives and relationships and weaving these details into compelling stories. The stories in Love and Sorrow are based on the true experiences of Holocaust survivors Paul and Anna Ornstein and Steve and Lusia Horstein, who were friends of Joe’s family when he was growing up in Cincinnati. Love and Sorrow has two very touching love stories that weave their way throughout the film. And there is even a humorous story about how Paul escaped from a slave labor camp (you wouldn't think it could be humorous, but it is.) And there is also an active story of Lusia fighting in the Polish Underground against the Nazis. Most victims of the Holocaust were forced to be very passive, they were rounded up and put into concentration camps. So it is quite unusual to have this young woman actually fighting against her tormentors. Lastly, this is a story that follows four teenagers and their families. When you see these four families and you get to know their brothers and sisters, their parents and grandparents, and then those family members are lost one by one, the viewer gets an overwhelming sense of how this horror was happening to nearly every Jewish family all across Europe. One doesn't get that same perspective from a film that follows one person or one family's story.


Corine Gantz - Co-writer of the screenplay
Corine Gantz is a Novelist living in Los Angeles. Her first book was entitled, Hidden in Paris. That novel was a big success and was translated into nine languages. Her latest novel is a trilogy entitled, The Curator of Hidden Things. It spans three generations in the life of a Jewish family.


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