THE GALA PREMIERE OF "MIR KUMEN ON"

THE GALA PREMIERE OF "MIR KUMEN ON"

Premiere of the digitally restored "Mir kumen on"

Premiere of the digitally restored "Mir kumen on"

"Mir kumen on" will be shown for the first time in Poland in an almost complete version. Digitally restored for its 80th anniversary, Aleksander Ford's film was previously shown in France and the United States.

"Mir kumen on" presents daily life at the Włodzimierz Medem Sanatorium in Miedzeszyn near Warsaw and the innovative treatments and educational methods employed there. During the years 1926-1939, it treated almost 10,000 children from poor Jewish working class families who suffered from tuberculosis.In 1942, the employees and patients of the sanatorium were transported to the extermination camp at Treblinka.

At the time of shooting "Mir kumen on", Aleksander Ford was 27 years old  especially after the success of "Legion of the Streets" (1932) - he was regarded as the most talented director of his generation. The script was co-written by, among others, Wanda Wasilewska, who spent a lot of time in Miedzeszyn in conversation with the patients there, consulting on ideas. All the footage was shot in Yiddish in the summer of 1935 in the sanatorium and its surroundings. There are no professional actors in the film, which is full of documentary authenticity, and it is a rare picture of the real lives of Jewish children in pre-war Poland. Producer of "Mir kumen on" was the Association for the Włodzimierz Medem Sanatorium for Children and the film was co-financed by the Jewish socialist party, Bund. The film was intended to help raise money for the children's treatment, which was necessary after the Ministry of Social Welfare refused to subsidise the institution. It was a kind of "crowdsourcing" initiative among the international Jewish community: the prologue contained a request for help in the national language of the country in which "Mir kumen on" was being shown.

The film presents, among other things, the modern treatment methods used in the sanatorium, but it also has a clear ideological message: it is a call for (class) solidarity and (national) tolerance. The accusations that it promoted communism, supported by an anti-Semitic hate campaign, resulted in "Mir kumen on" becoming a victim of censorship in Poland.The censors asked the producer to make changes to the copies of "Mir kumen on"  but they would have been so numerous and interfered with the message of the film so much that they were refused.

There was a heated discussion in the press between supporters and opponents of the film  with openly anti-Semitic voices appearing for the latter. Extracts of the press reviews and post-war comments about "Mir kumen on" can be found on the Digital Repository webpages.

In the end, the film was not permitted to be released for theatrical distribution and was shown only at non-public "secret" screenings and closed press screenings organised by the producer. The employees of the Włodzimierz Medem Sanatorium managed to transport a copy of "Mir kumen on" to France, where the first screening of the film entitled "Nous arrivons" ("We're on Our Way") took place in March 1936 at the Salle Pleyel in Paris, with an introduction by Luis Buñuel.The French audience kept alive the memory of "Mir kumen on," and it was from France, from Serge Bromberg (Lobster Films) and Léa Minczeles to be precise, that the initiative came for the film to be restored and reintroduced to the international public.

The restoration of this unique film to global culture was made possible thanks to a joint project by the National Film Archive, the Museum of Modern Art, Deutsche Kinemathek and Lobster Films.

Special guests at the premiere of "Mir kumen on" will be members of Aleksander Ford’s own family: Konstancja Ford – daughter of A. Ford, Roman Ford – son of A. Ford Johannes Ford Holmberg – grandson of A. Ford and the oldest son of Roman Ford and representative of the rights holder and initiator of the project  Lea Minczeles from the Medem Center in France – accompanied by her granddaughters: Cécile Braun and Camille Minczeles.

 

  • „Mir kumen on” (1936) dir. Aleksander Ford

When and Where

31 August 2017, 19.00

Iluzjon Cinema

ul. Narbutta 50a

02-541 Warsaw