WARSAW, Poland — A stirring movie by German Oscar-winning director Pepe Danquart about a Jewish boy struggling to survive the Holocaust is having its world premiere in Warsaw on Wednesday.
A German-French co-production with mostly Polish actors, “Run, Boy, Run” is the true story of 10-year-old Yoram Friedman who escaped the Warsaw ghetto in 1943 and — hunted by the Nazis — hid in the woods near the city.
He occasionally got help from farmers, but also faced indifference, hatred and betrayal. Posing as a Catholic Pole, assuming the name Jurek Staniak, helped him find lodgings in exchange for work in farms.
His right hand was badly injured in an accident, but a surgeon refused to operate after discovering that the boy was Jewish. Another surgeon treated him, but too late to save the arm from amputation.
Talking to The Associated Press on the eve of the premiere, Friedman said he does not live in the past.
“I don’t go back to that. What happened, happened,” he said. He admitted, however, that dreams about his ordeal were still haunting him a decade ago.
He believes the movie will reach many people around the globe with the message that “we must never forget that this really took place.”
His family, except for one sister, perished in the Holocaust, and after the war Friedman was taken to a Jewish orphanage in Poland. He studied mathematics and moved to Israel in 1962, where for 40 years he was a teacher. This week he is back to Warsaw for the premiere with his wife, Sonia; his daughter, Michal; his son, Zwi; and some of his six grandchildren.
The premiere at Warsaw’s Jewish History Museum will also be attended by Danquart and Israeli writer Uri Orlev, who told Friedman’s story in a 2001 book. The movie is to be released in Germany, the US, Israel and Japan, among others.
Danquart’s “Black Rider” won the 1993 short movie Oscar.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.