Ingrid Pitt: Beyond the Forest

My rating:    

This is a 6-minute short film made by Perry Chen, an 11-year-old animator and movie blogger (like me), directed by Kevin Sean Michaels and produced by Bill Plympton. It is a true story about a girl named Ingoushka Petrov (later known as Ingrid Pitt), who survived the Holocaust in 1945, when she was only eight years old. She narrated the film herself and it was her last project before she passed away. Like Anne Frank, it was her childhood dream to become an actress and she eventually lived her dream and was a movie star for over 40 years before her death in late 2010.

This short film describes the Holocaust experience through Ingrid Pitt’s eyes in very simple, hand-drawn animation. I was very impressed by the movie’s ability to express Ingrid Pitt’s fear of being imprisoned in the concentration camp with her mother, constantly fearing for her life, experiencing hunger, diseases and sadness. I really liked how Perry Chen made Ingrid’s bad memories in black and white and her good memory (of the moment she learned the war was over) in color – almost like she was becoming alive again.

As a Jewish boy I was personally moved by this film. It made me feel that I can now better understand what my great grandmother’s family went through in Poland. They, too, were taken to concentration camps and killed in horrific ways (my great grandmother was the only survivor from a big family). She still lives in Israel (she’s 98 years old now) and frequently shares her family stories and pictures with us.

This film will be featured at the Transbay Festival, kicking off this Friday, October 12 in San Francisco.

Also, here is a preview video of the movie.

4 thoughts on “Ingrid Pitt: Beyond the Forest

  1. This is really amazing a ten-year-old animator on such a sad and horrible story. Gal, ask your Mom to order the movie “Paper Clips” from Netflix
    Good Luck, love

  2. My dearest Gal,
    When your mother told me that you would make the presentation to this short film for the festival I was so moved that I actually started to cry. As you well know, the Holocaust is a very sensitive and touchy subject for us (Jewish people) and this short film, with its raw drawings made by a child who who was not directly effected by this heavy trauma and narrated by the woman who lived this nightmare and survived is extremely moving in itself. Yet, on top of all this, when my own beautiful and gifted grandson, whose great great grandparents had perished in the Holocaust, is making a presentation to this film for the SF festival – this is beyond my wildest dreams. I have to tell you that it is very well written, very mature and sensitive. One small remark: In the beginning of the second paragraph it should be ‘this short film describes’ (not ‘this short films describes’).
    I love you very much and I am very very proud of you!

  3. Thank you for that fine review. I’m in my mid-60s and reviews like this remind me that however much I think I know about the Holocaust, I still have lots more to learn.

  4. Dear Gal,
    Your beloved grand-mother Ilana, sent me the link to your blog, for which I thank her very much for several reasons, like: it gave me the opportunity to learn that you grew-up to become a mature, sensitive and talented youg boy, a source of great
    ‘NACHAT’ & pride to your parents & grand-parents – whom I love. Also, by your review, I learnt about this film which is no doubt an exceptional one. My two small
    remarks to you are – (1) I would add to the review a sentance about the achievment of Chen creating the drowings, and without any background like we, the Jews have, about the Holocaust, being from an Asian family (2) In the 2nd paragraph, I would
    write “through Ingrid Pitt’s eyes” instead of “from”. However these are but ideas – that do not deduct from your achievment & the excelent work you did !


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