Experiencing Interruptions?


My parents escaped the Nazis by crossing the Pyrenees on foot with the help of the French Resistance. The film shows the impact of the Holocaust on the next generation, and celebrates the bravery of those who risked their own lives to save the family.

  • Sharon Karp
  • Silvia Malagrino
    Burnt Oranges
  • Sharon Karp
  • Silvia Malagrino
    Burnt Oranges
  • Larry Bernstein
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Holocaust, Second Generation, Escaping Hitler, Holocaust Studies, Woman protagonist
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 23 minutes 15 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 15, 2014
  • Production Budget:
    100,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    France, United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital Video
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • ReelHeArt International Film Festival
    Toronto, Canada
    June 27, 2014
    Canadian Premier
    First Place Feature Documentary
  • WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival
    Houston, TX
    Bronze Remi Documentary 2015
  • Gene Siskel Film Center
    Chicago, IL
    January 11, 2015
    Chicago Premiere
  • Chicago Cultural Center
    Chicago, IL
    September 5, 2014
    Sponsored by UIC and Illinois Humanities Council
  • Illinois Holocaust Museum
    Skokie, IL
    July 13, 2014
  • Holocaust Memorial Center
    Zekelman Family Campus, Farmington Hills, Michigan
    September 28, 2014
    Michigan Premiere
  • Jane Adams Hull House Museum
    Chicago, IL
    April 11, 2015
  • University of Chicago
    Ida Noyes Hall, Max Palevsky Cinema
    January 27, 2015
  • National Louis University
    Skokie, IL
    February 18, 2015
    ESL STEM Success Grant
  • Global Peace Film Festival
    Orlando/Winter Park, FL
    September 15, 2015
    Florida Premiere
    2 screenings
  • Milwaukee Women's Film Festival
    United States
    August 20, 2016
    Wisconsin Premiere
  • Spotlight Documentary Film Award Winner 2016

    Silver Award
Director Biography - Sharon Karp, Silvia Malagrino

SHARON KARP is a founding member of the Chicago-based film collective Kartemquin Films. Since 1974 she has been involved in the production of independent films. In 1995 she formed her own video and post-production house, Media Monster. Among her award-winning films are the 1986 Emmy-nominated Silent Pioneers, and the Chicago Film Festival Silver Hugo Winner The Chicago Maternity Center Story. Ms. Karp was an editor on the Kartemquin-produced Vietnam: Long Time Coming. In 2001, Ms. Karp edited Voices of the Geniza: Portraits from Medieval Cairo, for a multimedia exhibition at the Spertus Museum in Chicago. Voices won the bronze medal in the prestigious MUSE awards. Another project for the Spertus was A Force for Change, a film for the exhibit about the Julius Rosenwald Fund and its support of African American artists, writers, teachers, and scholars. Additional award winning projects include The Innocent, a film about men and women wrongly sentenced to death; Burnt Oranges, a film about state terrorism in Argentina during the 1970s, and Standing Silent Nation, chronicling the struggle of a Lakota Indian family to develop a hemp industry on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota in order to become economically self-sufficient. Recent projects include Be Filled with the Spirit: Storefront Churches, a look into the traditions of black storefront churches as photographed by Milton Rogovin; Picture Man: The Poetry of Photographer Milton Rogovin, the social documentarian who for nearly forty years photographed people around the world, focusing on men and women at work; and Never Turning Back: the World of Peggy Lipschutz, the story of one woman’s unwavering commitment to art, peace, justice and social change. The film won the Cine Golden Eagle award in 2009.

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Director Statement

I always knew I would make a film about my family’s escape from the Nazis: their flight across the Pyrenees from France to Spain, “running by night, hiding by day,” my mother wearing only high-heeled shoes. It was a story my mother told over and over, their monumental accomplishment, crossing to freedom with the help of the Maquis, the French Resistance.
I became a documentary filmmaker in my early twenties, and worked primarily on films about peace and justice. After the death of my parents, I found maps and documents among their belongings that brought a new reality to their story. Suddenly everything was real. How had my family survived when so many had perished? I felt compelled to finally begin making a very personal film about my own family.
My sisters and I went to Europe to see for ourselves what my parents were talking about all those years. I also needed footage for my mother’s interviews and my father’s memoirs.
It has taken seven long years to make this film. During the process, I was forced to confront my own trauma as a child of survivors. I also discovered that the miracle of my familys' survival was achieved through strength of will, a lot of luck, and the help of other people who risked their own lives.