Jewish Cinema Mississippi, Miss. Museum of Art team for film screening

Jewish Cinema Mississippi, the Crossroads Film Society and the Mississippi Museum of Art are teaming up for a screening of “As Seen Through These Eyes,” July 17 at the museum.

“As Seen Through These Eyes” explores the role that art played in the lives of Jewish artists and prisoners during the Holocaust. The screening was inspired by the museum’s current exhibition, “Curious George Saves the Day: The Art of Margret and H. A. Rey,” which tells the story of the illustrators’ miraculous war-time escape and survival.

The Reys had escaped Nazi Germany on bicycles, carrying the original drawings and manuscripts that would become the Curious George phenomenon.

Rabbi Valerie Cohen of Beth Israel in Jackson said the film “is a compelling example of how a group of courageous concentration camp survivors used art to survive and to document the life and death in the camps.”

Museum Director Betsy Bradley said, “The moving stories of these individuals validate the strength of the human spirit and our collective ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable conditions. For millennia, artists have used their creative energy to sustain and embolden themselves as well as those who look to their work for inspiration.”

Narrated by Maya Angelou, the film features interviews with Holocaust survivors, rare footage from the period, and a multitude of individual stories told by the people who rebelled against and resisted Nazi occupation, risking life and limb merely through the act of creating art.

Michael Steiner, co-chair of Jewish Cinema Mississippi, stated that “as the number of survivors who can testify as to what happened during the Holocaust decreases, the legacy of the artists profiled in the film and the art that they produced will forever live and will help us to never forget the Holocaust.”

The film will be screened at 7 p.m. in the Yates Community Room. A cash bar will be available at 6:30 p.m. There is no charge for the film.

The Curious George exhibit will be open that day until 9 p.m. Admission to the exhibition is $12 adults, $10 seniors, $6 students, and free for Museum members. The exhibition closes July 22.

Jewish Cinema Mississippi is a collaboration between Beth Israel and the Jewish Culture Organization at Millsaps College. This year’s festival will be in January at the Malco Grandview Theatre in Madison.