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Filmmaker Statement

Dear Viewer,

I met Menachem Daum over ten years ago and soon afterward we began collaborating on A Life Apart (watch clips), a film about the Hasidic Jews of America, a community Menachem knew intimately and about which I had many romantic notions. At the time, he told me the story of how his father had forbade him to celebrate Halloween a few years after he had moved from a displaced persons camp in Germany to Schenectady, NY. The event clearly had a defining impact on his life.

I immediately knew that there was a fascinating film embedded within this father rejecting his son's earliest desires and attractions. What I didn't know turned out to be much more amazing and is the rest of the story of Hiding and Seeking.

Documentary filmmaking can be full of surprises when it is a true collaboration between the filmmaker and his or her subjects. In this case, an emotional depth and truth came along with a great adventure.

— Oren Rudavsky


Menachem Daum's letter to viewers »

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