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Event Info

W H A T :
  • Director: Gaylen Ross, USA/Israel, 2008, running time 120 minutes, in English and Hebrew.
  • Genre: Documentary, biography.
  • Social hour 60 minutes before each screening, with cash bar.

  • W H E N :
  • Monday, November 14, 7:00 pm
  • Doors open for social hour at 6:00 Monday;
    seating at 6:30, film at 7:00; post-film discussion with the director follows.
  • Also screening in the social hall at Wise Temple, Sunday, November 13, 7:00 pm, 8329 Ridge Road, 45236. Tickets $9, more information here and 513 487 3055.

  • W H E R E :
  • The Carnegie Arts Center
    1028 Scott Blvd., Covington KY 41011  
  • Easy Access, Free Parking:
    Printable PDF parking map
    Printable JPG parking map
    Interactive directional map
    Printable map and written directions
    New to the Carnegie? Learn more.

  • T I C K E T S :
  • Tickets are $7 in advance and $9 at the door.*
  • Tickets for students and Enjoy the Arts members with valid ID are $7*, available only at the door.

  •  * NOTE: Any ticket physically sold by the CARNEGIE incurs a $1.00 facility charge IN ADDITION to the face value of the ticket -- this applies to tix purchased in advance by phone or in person, and tix sold at the door.

  • How to get Tickets
  • Click here for online tickets
    By phone:
  • The Carnegie,
    859-491-2030, Tue-Fri 12-5p
  • Tollfree,
    877-548-3237, Mon-Fri 9a-7p

    In person at these area locations
    (click each location for a map):

  • Clifton-Ludlow Avenue,
    Sitwell's Coffee House
    513 281 7487

  • Mt. Lookout Square,
    Lookout Joe Coffee Roasters

    513 871 8626

  • Downtown Cincinnati,
    Coffee Emporium
    513 651 5483
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    Director's Filmography

    Gaylen Ross has written, directed and produced award-winning documentary films receiving national and international broadcast and exhibition. In the process, she received two National Endowment for the Arts film grants, a film grant from New York Council for the Humanities, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship.

    Filmography: Her documentary on New York's world of diamond dealers, DEALERS AMONG DEALERS is considered the only inside look at the incredibly cloistered world of New York's famous 47th Street diamond district. It was broadcast as part of the prestigious POV series on PBS, and televised as a two-part serialization for Channel 4 in the UK. It was also selected for the Berlin Film Festival, Montreal World Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Haifa Film Festival (Israel), Cinema du Reel at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, the Nyon Documentary Festival, (Switzerland), Encontros Inernacionais (Portugal) the Margaret Mead Film Festival in New York. DEALERS was awarded a Gold Plaque from the Chicago Film Festival, and named "Best of Fest" in the Edinburgh Film Festival.
    Ms. Ross wrote and produced the Emmy award winning BLOOD MONEY: SWITZERLAND'S NAZI GOLD a feature-length documentary that broke the story of the Swiss Banks and the Holocaust accounts. The film had its theatrical premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, and was a two-hour special on the A&E Networks.
    Other works include a documentary for British television Channel 4 on gambling in the United States, NOT JUST LAS VEGAS, honored at the Houston International Film Festival and the Chicago film festival. OUT OF SOLIDARITY, for PBS and The Learning Channel, the story of three families from the outlawed Polish Solidarity movement. SELLING THE DREAM, for the A&E Network, a incisive examination of stock and securities fraud. TO RUSSIA FOR LOVE, on the Russian mail-order bride business. She also directed the documentary LISTEN TO HER HEART: THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF LAURIE BEECHMAN, the story of the acclaimed Broadway star of Cats, Phantom of the Opera and cabaret singer, narrated by Rosie O'Donnell.

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    Hero or Nazi Collaborator?
  • A mystery surrounding Adolf Eichmann and the rescue of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust.
  • A courtroom drama that fractured the Israeli government.
  • A politically motivated murder.
  • A family saga of pain and quest for closure.

    Sounds like an outline for a fictional thriller, but in this case these are key elements of the documentary about a real-life (and almost unknown) individual, Rezso Kasztner, the subject of Killing Kasztner: The Jew Who Dealt With Nazis by Gaylen Ross.

    In Nazi occupied Hungary, Kasztner, a Jewish lawyer, negotiated with the architect of the Final Solution, Adolf Eichmann. While the Nazi killing machine was at its peak, Kasztner secured a rescue train for 1,684 Jews from Budapest in 1944, and bargained for tens of thousands of more lives. It may have been the largest rescue of its kind during the Holocaust, more than were saved by Oscar Schindler.

    Although the survivors of the rescued group of Hungarian Jews see Kasztner as their savior, his dealings with the Nazis yielded trucks and materiel they later used in the transport of other victims to Auschwitz and Dachau. After the war, Kasztner was persecuted in the new state of Israel for collaborating with war criminals; lost a court case to clear his name; and was ultimately assassinated outside his own home.

    With considerable zeal and thoroughness, filmmaker Gaylen Ross tackles the tangled web of conflicting viewpoints and nebulous facts in search of the truth about this mysterious and complex man. Her pursuit covers a lot of ground: the famous trial, the prosecutor and other luminaries; the clash between the left and right-wing political groups in power at the time; the story of Kasztner's surviving family members – notably his daughter Zsuzsi and her long-time attempts to clear his name; discussions with Holocaust survivors freed by Kasztner's efforts; and a series of remarkable interviews with the principal assassin, a Zionist extremist acting for political reasons.
    In the process, we come to know more about Kasztner, his family, history, and motivation. But in the end, a key point is left for the viewer to decide — what actions are acceptable in the name of survival?
    Director Gaylen Ross will join Dean Jonathan Cohen of HUC and Sarah Weiss of the Center for the Holocaust and Humanity for a post-film discussion with the audience.

    Learn more about the film, Rezso Kasztner and the Hungarian survivors of the Holocaust:

    Official website, killingkasztner.com.

    Audio interview: Garylen Ross discusses Killing Kasztner.

    Survivors attend Killing Kasztner premiere in New York City, New York Times, 2009.

    Review by Steven Holden, New York Times, 2009.

    Review by Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, 2010.

    Review by Clint O'Conner, Cleveland Plain Dealer, 2010.

    Review by Ella Taylor, The Village Voice, 2009.

    Review by Joeseph Lanthierr, Slant Magazine, 2009.

    Review by J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader, 2010.

    Discussion Leaders

    Gaylen Ross
    Gaylen Ross Director Gaylen Ross spent eight years researching and creating Killing Kesztner. An experienced documentary filmmaker, Ms. Ross will be present for the post-film discussion at both screenings in Cincinnati; see her filmography in the adjacent column.

    Dr. Jonathan Cohen
    Jonathan Cohen Recently appointed as Dean of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Relgion in Cincinnati, he began at HUC as Assistant Professor in 1998, was promoted to Associate Professor in 2006, and granted tenure in 2010.

    Relevant to the screening of Killing Kesztner, he has served as the Director, Hebrew Union College - University of Cincinnati Center for the Study of Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems since 2001. In November 2003, he was awarded the Rabbi Michael Matuson Professorship for Emerging Scholars, and was named Affiliate Member of the Laboratoire des etudes sur les Monothéismes of the French CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research) in August 2005.

    An Israeli-born scholar and emerging major figure in the academic study of Jewish Law, Dr. Cohen's interests include the history of law, law and religion, and, in particular, the evolution of Jewish law in Christian Europe. His areas of expertise encompass Jewish law and modernity, medieval response, human rights and religion, and ethics.

    He read law at the University of Kent, Canterbury, and earned his Ph.D. (Law) from the University of Liverpool. At the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies he was the first David Patterson Junior Fellow in Jewish Law.

    At the HUC-UC Ethics Center, he extended HUC-JIR's renown by convening and participating in major national symposia on a broad range of issues, including poverty, welfare and religion; gender stereotypes; censorship and the visual arts; emergency care in time of war; the role of the media at times of war; education, discipline, and equal access; capital punishment; end of life treatment and care; ethical decisions in housing; and family violence.

    Most recently, Dr. Cohen spearheaded a revitalization of the campus's community outreach through an exciting and popular series of lectures, concerts, film programs, and exhibitions that welcomed the hundreds of visitors from the Cincinnati community onto the campus and considerably raised the visibility of HUC-JIR. Learn more about Dr. Cohen here.

    Sarah Weiss
    Sarah Weiss A native of Youngstown, OH, Sarah Weiss is the Executive Director of The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education. She is a member of the Ohio Holocaust Council, a commissioner for the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission and serves as a board member for Bridges for a Just Community and Jewish Vocational Service.

    In addition, Sarah brings a personal connection to this work as the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors.

    Weiss came to Cincinnati to attend the University of Cincinnati, where she received her degree in Business Administration. She is also a graduate of the Teaching the Holocaust and anti-Semitism courses at the esteemed Yad Vashem International School for Holocaust Studies. Recently, she received the Harris K. and Alice F. Weston Jr. "Avodah" Award, which recognizes outstanding new Jewish Community Professionals.

    Learn more about Sarah Weiss and her work — recognition video and here, the Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education.