Festival Screenings

Hope Horn Gallery, University of Scranton (2013)
Jewish Genealogical Society of Michigan (2013)
IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy (2013)

Tucson Jewish Film Festival (2008)
Vancouver Jewish Film Festival (2008)
NCJF Jewishfilm.2007 (2007)

In 2001, on the occasion of a retrospective exhibit of his work, painter Samuel Bak returned to his hometown of Vilna (now Vilnius, Lithuania). There, he walked the streets of the Vilna ghetto where he was interned with his parents during the Holocaust and visited the nearby forest where his father and grandparents were murdered. Amongst the tall trees of the Ponari forest, Samuel Bak's life came full circle.

This documentary explores Bak's work and life through the lens of his childhood experiences. Born in 1933 in Vilna, Poland, young Samuel was declared a child prodigy. The happiness of his childhood came to an end, however, the day his family was marched into the Jewish Ghetto, changing his life and his artistic vision forever. Saved from the death camps by his father, the miracle of his survival became and still is a recurring theme in his art. Insightful interviews with the artist, Holocaust scholar Lawrence Langer, and Pucker Gallery director Bernard Pucker explore the unique and powerful visual vocabulary and iconography of Bak's work, which is held in museums, galleries, and collections worldwide.


"Ignited by haunting images from his memories of the horror of the Holocaust, Bak’s work reflects not just the fragility of human existence but also the triumph of the human spirit in the face of atrocity. The imagery in his paintings—from discarded and distorted teddy bears to his immensely moving self-portrait, in which a wide-eyed boy emerges from a burlap sack—allows viewers to travel in both time and state of mind to places far beyond the Holocaust."
- Filmmaker Christa Singer

External Links

Click for more information on Samuel Bak and his artwork.

Home Use DVD:

Does not include Classroom or Library Use Rights or Public Performance Rights. More Information

Classroom/Library Use DVD: $195

Does not include Public Performance Rights. More Information

Digital Site Licensing (DSL) available - Contact us

Step down pricing for K-12 & public libraries may be available - Contact us

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Samuel Bak:
Painter of Questions

Canada, 2003, 48 minutes, color
Directed by Christa Singer

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Public Exhibition formats: Beta, DVD


Under the Trees by Samuel Bak, image
courtesy of Pucker Gallery, Boston




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