Adam and Ben Danzger are far from the first filmmakers to make a film about the Holocaust.
But they may be the first to complete one before starting high school.
The genesis of their 40-minute film, “L’dor V’dor: From Generation to Generation,” was a Shabbat morning sermon they heard at Temple Emanu-El of Closter around the time of Yom Hashoah a year and a half ago. The sermon talked about how theirs was the last generation to hear first-hand the stories of Holocaust survivors.
The two Tenafly brothers were working with their mother in a business creating video montages for bar mitzvah celebrations.
“We decided to take our skills and make a documentary,” recalled Adam. The younger of the two, he is now in eighth grade. His brother is starting high school.
Their target audience was youths like themselves.
Their format: They filmed four of their peers asking questions about the Holocaust. Then they filmed four survivors answering the questions.
“We had a bunch of kids we could choose from. We didn’t want kids who knew too much about the Holocaust. We wanted more general questions,” said Adam. “We tried not to focus on the concentration camps.”
This reflected the advice of Beryl Bresgi, head librarian and director of Holocaust studies at the Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County, which the boys attended when they began the project.
“She suggested staying away from a discussion of the concentration camps, because kids who learn too much about the concentration camps are turned off to the Holocaust,” recalled Sharon Danzger, the boys’ mother.
The film is geared towards children in the 5th to 8th grade, although its content “is also relevant and appropriate for adults,” according to the film’s publicity materials.
The film premieres Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades. Admission is free, but reservations are required at email@example.com.