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Filmmaker Points Lens at His Own Survival Story in Nazi Poland


Filmmaker Marian Marzynski has been telling stories for more than a half-century, but he still has stories to tell and audiences to reach. Marzynski is considered a pioneer in the documentary form known as cinema verite.

And in his latest film is one in a series in which he has mined his own experiences. The autobiographical film, “Never Forget to Lie” is an exploration of his wartime childhood. Marzynski, who is Jewish, was hidden from Nazis by sympathetic Christians in his Polish homeland.

Marzynski says the title of the film comes from this experience, in which he had to pretend to be someone else. "To survive, you must forget who you are," he says in the film's narration, but he says he hopes viewers won't forget the story.

"Because it’s a human story, when you watch it, you absorb the information," he says, "but more than anything, you realize it’s your own. Your own history, or it could be your own experience in the future."

The film airs next Tuesday, May 14th on Milwaukee Public Television as part of PBS’s Frontline series. Marzynski was in Milwaukee recently for a screening of the film.

More of our conversation with filmmaker Marian Marzynski.

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.