Museum to Present Three Films That Have Shaped Popular Thought about the Holocaust

HOUSTON, TX (Sept. 19, 2011) – Holocaust Museum Houston’s Fall Film Series will feature three early cinematic dramatizations that helped shape the memory of the Holocaust in popular consciousness.

All the three films do what great Holocaust movies should: they take a dark time in history and weave a narrative that makes us understand what we didn’t know before. They educate more than they entertain, but they do it with compassion, humor and even the plain harsh truth.

On Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011, at 7 p.m., the Museum presents “Forbidden Games.” One of the first films to see the horrors of war through the eyes of children, “Forbidden Games” is a timeless evocation of childhood innocence corrupted. René Clément’s film tells the story of a young girl orphaned by war and the farm boy she joins in a fantastical world of macabre play. Mythical and heartbreakingly real, this unique film features astonishing performances by its child stars and was honored with a special foreign language film Academy Award in 1952.  HMH Docent Barbara Cowan will introduce the film and lead a discussion afterward

On Oct. 27, 2011, at 6:30 p.m., the Museum presents “The Odessa File.” From the book by Novelist Frederick Forsythe comes this suspenseful story which takes us from Berlin to a World War II concentration camp called Riga. Peter Miller, a German journalist, stumbles upon the diary of an old survivor of the Riga concentration camp and learns that the commanding officer of that camp - Eduard Roschmann - is still alive in Germany under a pseudonym. While trying to pinpoint Roschmann, Miller will have to face ODESSA, an organization of Nazis who haven't given up the idea of ruling the world. Helped by Simon Wiesenthal and Jewish secret agents, Miller tries to sneak into ODESSA but is soon the target of the ODESSA killers. Fortunately, Miller has the opportunity to steal a file which lists the new identities of all the ODESSA members. HMH Docent Bryan Howell will introduce the film and lead a discussion afterward.

Then, on Nov. 17, 2011, beginning at 7 p.m., the Museum will screen “Emotional Arithmetic.” This film tells a story of redemption, healing and reconciliation ignited by the re-union of three survivors of Drancy, the WW II internment camp just outside of Paris. In 1945, a young dissident held at Drancy takes two children, Melanie and Christopher, under his charge. Forty years later, Melanie discovers that her now elderly rescuer, whom she believed had been taken from Drancy to Auschwitz and killed, is still alive. She immediately invites him to live with her and her family on their farm in Canada. He arrives with Christopher as a surprise for Melanie, and she and Christopher must face the truth of the bond between them.

The past explodes into the present (the mid-1980s) in an unexpected and tender love story which is life altering for them and for those around them. HMH Docent Diane Merrill will introduce the film and lead a discussion afterward.

Tickets for each film are $4 for Museum members and $5 for nonmembers. Seating is limited, and advance registration is required for each film. Visit www.hmh.org/RegisterEvent.aspx to RSVP online. For more information, call 713-942-8000 or e-mail events@hmh.org.

All three films will be presented in the Museum’s Albert and Ethel Herzstein Theater at the Morgan Family Center, 5401 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004 in Houston’s Museum District and are presented with special thanks to United Airlines, official airline of Holocaust Museum Houston.

Holocaust Museum Houston is dedicated to educating people about the Holocaust, remembering the 6 million Jews and other innocent victims and honoring the survivors' legacy. Using the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides, the Museum teaches the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy.

For more information about the Museum, call 713-942-8000 or visit www.hmh.org.

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