Displaced


TYPE
: Documentary Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Post-Production

LOGLINE

The victims of war go well beyond the battlefied. DISPLACED is the remarkable story of immigration after WWII told from children's point of view.  Three to 13 years old at the time of displacement, our subjects tell tales of terrible times when families were forced from their homeland to avoid death or deportation to Siberia as Uncle Joe Stalin and the Soviet Union took control of their homeland.

SYNOPSIS

    The exodus began in 1944.  For the Lithuanians featured in DISPLACED and others in Eastern Europe, staying home meant potential execution or exile to slave labor camps in Siberia by the oppressive Russian regime.  They left their homes hoping to return.  Valuables were buried in the backyard against looters.  One couple handed a two-week-old baby to relatives deeming the trip too treacherous for an infant.  They did not see that child again for 12 years.  They were running not from our enemy, the madman Adolph Hitler of Germany but our ally, the equally mad and brutal Russian, Joseph Stalin. who was given control of their countries.  Stalin systematically tried to rid these countries of teachers, professionals, and others he declared 'enemies of the people.'

    DISPLACED will cover four topics.  The why and way of leaving reveals the day-to-day existence quickly disrupted by the need to flee as Russian artillery boomed in the distance.   The second part shows the perilous journey to Germany, in carts, on bicycles, on foot and by boat.  As they traveled along the road, the sights and sounds of planes strafing, farmhouses burning and the woeful moans of unmilked cows assaulted them.   They went into ditches and under carts when the bombs fell and hid in the forest when Germans began taking fathers and sons to help dig trenches.   The third section looks at life in the displaced person camps usually an old German barracks or group home commandeered by the Allies often only a bed sheet separated families.  Functioning communities were constructed by nationality with years passing before families were accepted to travel to American.  The last section tells of the ship ride home with people too seasick to enjoy exotic never before seen foods such as bananas and oranges.    They finally arrived to meet their sponsors and a new life in the USA.

       These stories are told by children now adults who are among the last surviving generation to live through these traumatic times..  These are stories as close as your neighbors.  These are some among the many people in this country living productive lives who have played a major part in historical events.

 

ARTISTIC STATEMENT

This is a story too often neglected and one which sadly reverberates in the world today.  In those harrowing times after WWII, millions of people were left displaced, the largest group of immigrants until today.  Meanwhile Putin would like to restore the Russian empire its post-WWII days.  We must learn from our history.

KEY CREW

MARY UMANS - Director

MARY UMANS, Director, has been a collector of stories all her life.  She recently made the transition from the written word to the visual one.  Her short film, The Braddock Boys, about a growing up in the 50s at a park in Long Island, NY was featured at the Manhattan Film Festival.  It has been shown at a number of local civic events and on the public access television show Nancy's Corner hosted by Nancy Massaro.  The Braddock Boys is part of the permanent collection of the Floral Park library.  www.thebraddockboys@weebly.com

JOSEPH JAKUBAUSKAS - EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

 JOSEPH JAKUBAUSKAS, Executive Producer, is of Lithuanian descent and has long been a student of the history of both the Baltic States and World War II.   His professional experience has been in sales and promotion. He has traveled extensively in Lithuania to visit relatives and his familiar with its geography and history.

William Lehman - Editor

Will is a filmmaker and editor who lived and worked in New York for ten years.  Currently based in Oregon, his recent work includes editing the documentary feature "Profiled" and contributing to the films "The Yes Men are Revolting" and "Meru" winner of the 2015 Sundance Audience Award for Best Documentary.

Tim Ballard - Animator

Tim as a student of philosophy, art history and documentary film, was fortunate enough to kill two birds with one stone by integrating two of his greatest loves - history and visual art - while working as an animator for DISPLACED.

William Ryan Fritch - Composer

William is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer based in the San Franciso bay area.  He has scored and contributed music to numerous award winning documentary and narrative films including the 2016 Academy Award nominated "4.1 Miles."  His music has been featured in films, shows and miniseries for Netflix, HBO, Amazon, AMC, CBS, IFC, Showitme, Discovery  and PBS as well as dance and theatre productions, art installations and national ad campaigngs.  In addition, he has an active recording career, releasing more than 30 albums.

Karen Everett - Story Consultant

Karen is one of the world's leading documentary story consultants as well as an award winning documentary filmmaker.  Her business, New Doc Editing provides directors with talented documentary editors as well as story consultants.  Author of the bood, Documentary Editing, she has directed five of her own documentaries, most recently "The Story of Barbara Marx Hubbard."

 

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ACCOLADES

-
IFP Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2018
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From the Heart Productions has listed DISPLACED as one of the Hot Films in the Making.  

 

UPDATE - November 16, 2017

We are so close to finishing the film.  We still need to pay to license archival footage and newsreels.  There is still video and sound work to be done.  There are so many details and it all costs money.  Anything you give is appreciated and will be put to good use.  It is an important story that should be told.  Thank you.

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