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Misa's Fugue
Harkins Scottsdale 101 Theatre
Phoenix, AZ
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Misa's Fugue
Frank "Misa" Grunwald was born in Olomouc, Czechoslovakia, in September of 1932. Four months later, Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. Misa's Fugue is the true story of one boy's journey through Prague, Terezin, Auschwitz, Mauthausen, Melk, and Gunskirken as a victim of arbitrary Nazi oppression. While exposed to some of the most horrific people, places, and events of the Holocaust, Frank Grunwald was able to endure the atrocities of genocide through the love for art and music instilled in him by his childhood in Prague.This full-length documentary is a collaboration of the faculty and students of Fleetwood Area High School in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania and independent filmmaking professionals. With original artwork, music, and editing by students in grades ten, eleven, and twelve, Misa's Fugue is a showcase of how the arts in education can instill a deeper understanding of history and the human spirit. As Misa narrates the struggles and triumphs of his family, spectators witness an intimate perspective into how the death and misfortune of the 1940s influenced the life of this otherwise ordinary man. Frank's most recent sculpture, the creation of which is intercut with rare photographs and even rarer 8-millimeter footage of the Grunwald family, is a testament to the trauma he faced as a young boy. Misa's most poignant memory of the Holocaust was his last minute salvation by a German inmate who befriended him. This minor victory, however, was hastily followed by his mother's voluntary death alongside Misa's older brother, who suffered a lifelong deformity that spelled his doom when Nazi officials selected who would live and who would die. Before she boarded the trucks that led her to the gas chambers, Misa's mother wrote a final note to her husband, which Misa himself was not able to read until his father's death, an act of suicide after suffering the loss of two wives. Misa's story is presented in the style of a fugue, a collection of intertwining musical themes developed and varied by counterpoint. As this young musician's tale is told, spectators also witness the gradual deterioration of Misa's identity, which coincides with the psychiatric denotation of a fugue. His story of suffering, loss, and self-discovery is poignantly told from the perspective of a child who has lived with these tragic memories for more than half of a century. Encountering the notorious Dr. Josef Mengele and legendary artist Dina Babbit along the way, Frank Grunwald's life demonstrates the decision that all men and women must make to devote their lives either to the creation or destruction of human civilization. The tapestry of tragedy and artistry in the life of Frank Grunwald is interwoven with the teenage painters, sculptors, musicians, and filmmakers from Fleetwood Area High School who collaborated with filmmaking professionals to create a documentary that attempts to embellish the creative spirit amidst the most destructive moment in human history.

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Location

Harkins Scottsdale 101 Theatre
7000 E Mayo Blvd
Phoenix, AZ 85054
United States


Categories

None

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: No

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