: Documentary
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Completed


The story of three generations of one American family who shared a drive to fight for justice throughout the twentieth century.


Morgenthau is the epic story of one American family whose careers brought them to the front and center of some of the most dramatic social and political shifts in the twentieth century— Henry Morgenthau Senior, Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire; Henry Morgenthau Junior, Secretary of Treasury under FDR; and Robert M. Morgenthau, District Attorney of Manhattan for 35 years.



This project began 15 years ago when I was working on the core exhibition for the Museum of Jewish Heritage, a Living Memorial to the Holocaust, in New York. The chairman of the museum was the legendary District Attorney of Manhattan, Robert Morgenthau, and I soon developed a friendship with him that led me to the remarkable historical tapestry of his family. The walls of his office at 1 Hogan Place were a veritable visual timeline of 20th century America. I began filming interviews with him in 1999 to preserve his and his family's stories for future generations, however I waited until his retirement as District Attorney in 2009 to begin production as I felt it was only then that he would be able to speak freely. It was only after the last 2 1/2 years and close to 70 interviews conducted with people like President Bill Clinton and Justice Sonia Sotomayor and historians like Michael Beschloss, did I realize how epic and remarkable a dynasty the three generations of Morgenthaus have been. The film will be a two-hour presentation shown over two nights on PBS.



Max Lewkowicz - Director, Writer, Producer

 Max Lewkowicz has written, directed, and produced hundreds of productions for network and public television, museums, and multinational corporations in a career that has spanned over twenty-five years.

Betsy Gotbaum - Executive Producer

Betsy Gotbaum, former New York City Public Advocate, has led a distinguished career in the public and private sectors over the past three decades.

Ann Oster - Executive Producer

Ann Oster is currently the President of the Oster Family Foundation and the Executive Management Director of Oster Properties in New Jersey.

Sam Roberts - Writer

Sam Roberts, an award-winning journalist, has been The New York Times’s Urban Affairs Correspondent since 2005 and currently hosts The New York Times Close Up, a weekly news and interview program.

Valerie Thomas - Story Editor/Script Supervisor

 Story Editor/Script Supervisor: Valerie Thomas has worked with Jonathan Demme on PHILADELPHIA, DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS, ADAPTATION and BELOVED. She is the author of two young adult novels.

Joseph Borruso - Senior Editor

Joseph Borruso has edited and/or post supervised numerous documentaries for HBO and PBS including, Slumming It: Myth and Culture on the Bowery, Kindergarten, 27th & Prospect and The Telephone.

Catharine Axley - Associate Producer/Assistant Editor

Catharine Axley has most recently worked on three documentary films, including The Road to Nasiriyah, a film about the looting of archaeological sites in Iraq after the United States’ invasion.

Scott Shelley - Director of Photography

Scott Shelley is a cinematographer and producer with 19 years of experience in documentary, television and independent feature films.


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