Comments about the Film
11.4.16 Open Y0ur Eyes
My wife and I were privileged to see this documentary in September of last year and were blown away with the beauty and power of this truly uplifting film. In addition, as a member of the Open Your Eyes Committee, the timing of seeing the film was, to say the least, serendipitous. Our committee had decided to create a year long series of programs focusing on Creativity and Judaism—and here in this film was the embodiment of what we were going to examine—the creation, or you might say, the recreation of something that touched upon the very soul of Judaism—a roof, much like the ones under which a century of Polish Jews had prayed, celebrated holidays, births, weddings, and mourned the passing of loved ones—a symbol of our people which the Nazis had tried to erase from the face of the earth and which—as you will see—was being reborn through the creative genius of the Browns and filming artistry of the Wolinskys. – Dick Morrison, Temple Shalom, Newton, MA
11.2.15 Hi Krista,
Thank you so much for coming to the Temple Emanu-El Providence screening of "Raise the Roof," and for speaking with the audience. As you know, I was out of the country at the time, but immediately after (through email) and ever since, I have heard only wonderful, excited responses to the screening and especially to your visit and comments. I am so glad that the evening worked out well, and I hope you enjoyed meeting our community and speaking with members of the audience.
I wish you, the Browns and the Wolinskys good fortune with the film and the projects at Handhouse Studios. You folks are doing such good, inspiring work. It deserves a wide audience and recognition. Congratulations to all of you.
— Linda Shamoon
10.31.15 Hi Cary and Laura,
The SW Michigan Jewish Film Festival screened "Raise the Roof" here in Kalamazoo on 10/29. It was a truly wonderful evening, not only because the film tells such a compelling and beautiful story, but also because Sara Black and Charlie Roderick, the speakers that Laura recommended, completed the evening by sharing their personal insights and answering each question from the audience so thoughtfully.
I explained to the audience before the screening that the Hebrew word "beshert," which means something that was meant to be, perfectly described how everything related to this film came together. I was looking for partner organizations to help broaden the scope of our film festival, and because the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts loved this film as much as I did, they immediately agreed to help us screen it. After receiving Laura's recommendation to contact Sara and Charlie to speak, they immediately accepted my invitation and generously agreed to take the time to drive to Kalamazoo from Chicago.
Thanks to you both (as well as Rick and Yari) for creating something so special that will not be forgotten here in Kalamazoo. — Naomi Morse
…you see the joy of being involved in so spiritual an endeavor. The film accelerates like the project itself, becoming increasingly dramatic and exuberant as the many involved approach – and then reach – their goal. “Raise the Roof” assumes a new dimension in this movie, an inspiring documentary indeed. — Carlo Wolff, Cleveland Jewish Times
Beautiful photography, I mean beautiful! Really creative angles and so many pleasing CU moments (raindrops dripping, grinding wode), cinema verité intimacy…you guys have succeeded in bringing the “idea” of history to life, for yourselves and for your teammates, with consuming, empathic, moral, invigorating investigation and action. Nothing else could turn our understanding of the past to what it needs to be: not master narratives on a page, or even alternative contesting narratives, but as action. Making things. People making history. — Melissa Totten, M+Co
The film is absolutely WONDERFUL. Beautifully, masterfully filmed, compelling storytelling, I was thoroughly immersed, enchanted. It is so difficult to create a masterly film from such complex material over an extended period of time. What to include, what to leave out? How did you ever manage it? Congratulations!! Perfection!! — Shana Penn, Executive Director, Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture
The visual storytelling and rhythm had great energy. The interviews were, in all seriousness, some of the best I've watched in a historical doc. What is the most impressive…is how you took the Brown's central thesis, to reach deep into history and pull something back, and made it the goal of the film. In doing so, the work that went into documenting Gwoździec's rebirth, both for the Handshouse and for you, took on such a weight for me as a viewer. It was just very successful. It's that simple. — Greg Croteau