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MCA/WCA Documentary Film Series - Mendelssohn, the Nazis, and Me

  • October 30, 2021
  • 7:00 PM
  • November 02, 2021
  • 7:00 PM
  • The Comfort of Your Own Home


  • Only one registration required per device (desktop, laptop, tablet, etc.)

Registration is closed

Mendelssohn, the Nazis, and Me

Trailer:  Mendelssohn, the Nazis and Me

Felix Mendelssohn was a child prodigy pianist and composer who was famous from a young age. Born into an illustrious Berlin Jewish family (his grandfather was the theologian Moses Mendelssohn who began the assimilation of Jews into German society), Felix was baptized Lutheran, along with his siblings, at the age of seven, in part because at that time Jews in Germany did not have full civil rights. For the rest of his short life (he died at age 38), Mendelssohn strove to unite the two religions in his music, continuing what his grandfather had begun. He became one of Germany’s most beloved composers, and millions of brides have walked down the aisle to his Wedding March. One hundred years later the Nazis came to power, banned Mendelssohn’s music in Germany and re-classified his (mainly Lutheran) descendants as Jews, threatening their lives. One of these descendants, the filmmaker Sheila Hayman, decided to tell her family’s story on screen. Her wide-ranging and fascinating film is about the madness of labels and the unifying power of music.

There will be a Zoom discussion with the filmmaker,
Sheila Hayman, on. 
November 2 at 3:00 PM. 

Sheila Hayman has written and directed documentary films for the BBC, Channel 4, ARTE, PBS, Beijing TV and others, winning a BAFTA and Time Out Documentary Series of the Year, and a Robert Kennedy award.

She has been UK Young Journalist of the Year, the BAFTA/Fulbright Fellow in Los Angeles, a columnist for The Guardian, and is a Director’s Fellow of the MIT Media Lab. In 2020 she was Artist in Residence at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

For the past eighteen years she has coordinated the creative writing and performance group ‘Write to Life’ at UK NGO Freedom from Torture, working to help refugees as her father was helped in the 1930s.

On its release, ‘Mendelssohn, The Nazis and Me’ was nominated for the Grierson Arts Documentary of the Year. She is now working on a successor film about her direct ancestor, Fanny Mendelssohn, her conflicted relationship with her own extraordinary talent, and the part Felix played in its suppression.

For additional information, click HERE. 

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