Giving a spotlight to composer Peter Gary's oratorio, “A Twentieth Century Passion” which was given a world premiere in 2016.
Interweaving the haunting refrains from the world premiere of A Twentieth Century Passion, his oratorio in memory of the 6 million Jews massacred in the Second World War, the documentary tells the life journey of holocaust survivor and composer, A. Peter Gary.
Using a combination of in-depth interviews with Peter and archival footage from the 1940s, the story of his fate at the hands of the Nazis becomes the personal story that epitomizes the experience of millions. One terrible Christmas Eve Peter and his mother – along with 300 others – were taken in trucks to woods near the border with Poland; lined up, naked, on the edge of a ravine and mown down with machine–guns. Peter’s mother pushed him from behind, down the ravine. She was killed, but Peter and three others survived and made their way to Poland. Peter was smuggled into the Warsaw ghetto. After four months there he was transported first to Majdanek then Dachau and ultimately Bergen-Belsen, where he was liberated by the British Army on his 21st birthday. He weighed 76 pounds.
The horror of the concentration camps contrasts poignantly with current footage of Peter speaking to schoolchildren on Vancouver Island. Peter believes he owes it to the Jewish children who died and to future generations to speak out against hate and teach tolerance and understanding. “We must stamp out hate for our children. We must believe that we can and will do better.”…
See more at www.a20thcenturypassion.org