Surviving Skokie
Sequoia 2Sun, Oct 18, 2015 2:30 PM Not Available
Film Info
Section:Valley of the Docs
Running Time:65 min
Premiere Status:World
Director:Eli Adler
Blair Gershkow
Producer:Eli Adler
Blair Gershkow
Screenwriter:Blair Gershkow
Cinematographer:Eli Adler
Editor:Blair Gershkow
Print Source:Clean Slate Video
Note Writer:Brendan Peterson
This riveting documentary centers on a series of dark days in small-town America that force a resilient group of Holocaust survivors to relive a devastating past. Eli Adler’s deeply personal film follows the path of his father, Jack Adler, a Polish immigrant and concentration camp survivor who built a life in Skokie, Illinois. But the quiet existence of hundreds of survivors is rocked to its core in the late '70s when a neo-Nazi group announces plans to march through town. As the community comes together to confront these hate mongers, long-festering emotional scars and severe memories are uncovered. Adler combines fascinating historical footage and a penetrating first-person perspective to capture the intimate psychological details of 70 years of persecution and prejudice. The generational journey comes full circle after a poignant trip back to Poland provides a profound opportunity for father and son to connect with each other and their turbulent cultural history.
Additional Information

A former resident of Skokie, IL and an award-winning, Marin County-based cinematographer, Eli Adler has worked for more than 30 years with many talented documentary producers. In 2000, for the documentary Holocaust in my Body, Eli traveled to Auschwitz for the first time. As the son of a Polish Holocaust survivor, the experience was very difficult, knowing that this was the place that his father’s sister perished. “There is something quite profound when one actually steps foot on that hallowed ground,” said Adler. “It was then that I knew I needed to come back at some point and make my own film.” Adler has photographed several Holocaust-related films, including Hope Out of the Ashes (1985) and Loosening The Grip (1999). For the Shoah Foundation, Eli served as director of photography for the film One Day in Auschwitz, which aired on Discovery and Showtime.  

Blair Gershkow is an editor and director with credits on all the major broadcast networks, including PBS’ The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, ABC’s Nightline and CBS’ 60 Minutes. For the past 20 years his work has involved editing feature-length documentaries, including The People vs. Dan White, as well as Silicon Valley: The New Gold Rush for CNN, and Fox 2/5, the national Emmy-winning story of the first Marines deployed into Iraq for Nightline. From 2001 to 2010 he edited Keeping Score, a series for the San Francisco Symphony and PBS and, in 2008, the award-winning documentary The Judge and the General. Recently, Gershkow edited the documentary San Francisco Symphony at 100 and a biopic for the PBS series Soundtracks, featuring Wynton Marsalis. He has won numerous awards for his work, including five national and local Emmys, two Iris Awards and the DuPont-Columbia Award.