Film festival in Russia highlights The Last Flight of Petr Ginz

 
  (photo credit: Embassy of Israel, Moscow)
(photo credit: Embassy of Israel, Moscow)

Ronen Kraus, deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of Israel in Russia attended Tsiolkovsky, the International Space Film Festival, this year in Kaluga.  At the Tsiolkovsky State Museum of the History of Astronomy, he was welcomed by film director and president of the film festival, Igor Ulnikov, and was taken on a guided tour by the museum staff, who showed him an extensive collection of space technology. 

  (credit: Embassy of Israel, Moscow) (credit: Embassy of Israel, Moscow)

He attended a screening of the film ,The Last Flight of Petr Ginz, which was directed by Sandra Dickson and Churchill Roberts.  The film is based on the true story of a Czech Jewish child prodigy who at age 14 was sent to Theresienstadt and later to Auschwitz. By age14, he had written five novels and a diary about the Nazi occupation of Prague. By age 16, he had produced 120 drawings and paintings, edited an underground magazine in the Theresienstadt Ghetto, and written numerous short stories. Ginz was killed in the gas chamber at Auschwitz before his 17th birthday. The film is meant to commemorate and celebrate the memory of Petr, and remind the viewers of the many lives cut short by the tragedy of the Holocaust.

Much of Petr’s story was unknown until the 2003 Columbia space shuttle tragedy. Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, a member of the mission, carried Petr’s drawing, “Moon Landscape,” with him. The publicity surrounding the Columbia flight and its tragic explosion led to the discovery of Petr’s diary and additional artwork and short stories in a Prague attic. Out of all of Petr’s novels, only Prehistoric Alien was found after the war. 

  (credit: Embassy of Israel, Moscow) (credit: Embassy of Israel, Moscow)

The main objective of the space film festival is not only to demonstrate new films on space exploration. It is also to make space-related science and arts more popular, improve traditions of international dialogue between scientists and cinema professionals to solve acute problems of science, culture and technology development. The festival program includes demonstration of new Russian and foreign movies and documentaries on space and space exploration, old movies, previews dedicated to the best space movies of the past, master classes of Russian and foreign cinema experts, discussions and sessions to be attended by prominent scientists and cinema professionals.Dozens of movies from more than 50 countries took part in the festival.  

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