The World Was Ours: Mira Jedwabnik Van Doren
After ten years of painstaking labor, research and travels to the city of her birth, Mira Van
Doren has exquisitely captured the cultural life and the world that was Vilna
before it was brutally cut off by the Nazis in World War II. Mira, the daughter
of a surgeon and artist, was only ten when she left Vilna, but the memories of
childhood friends that never survived and those classmates that surfaced only
after being incarcerated in the concentration camps, had a lasting impression.
Mira Van Doren has journeyed back in time to a place when Vilna was a cultural
mecca, filled with literature, music, theater, books and an endless variety of cultural choices.
She has recaptured her birth city, Vilna, in her documentary “The World Was
Ours” dedicated to the memory of Jewish Vilna. It draws on a large collection
of video interviews with dozens of survivors and scholars. Excerpts from
diaries, letters, poems, newspaper stories, and other contemporary accounts
supplement these interviews. Archival photographs and footage visualize the
story of this remarkable community.
A voice-over narration by award-winning actor Mandy Patinkin
weaves the many elements into a single story. Archival music evokes the spirit
of the times and is supplemented by specially recorded performances of Yiddish,
Polish, and other music popular in Vilna between the two world wars.
The Vilna Project, Inc. is preparing a book, which will
complement the film. WNET Channel
13 has recently aired this documentary.#