Watchlist

A collection of historical footage, films, and lectures about Lviv and Galicia.

Historical Footage

Prewar Lviv

Jewish Life in Lviv (1939)

This video as well as “Jewish life in Krakow” (below) were been re-dubbed in the 1980s. The originals, with subtitles are available at the Center for Urban History in Lviv and through the National Center for Jewish Film. The new English dubbings (there are Hebrew versions as well) are radically different from the originals.

Jewish Life in Krakow (1939)

1940 Soviet Footage

The Ghetto in Przemysl

Documentaries

Three Stories of Galicia (2010)

Reveals the intimate stories of three courageous individuals who took it upon themselves to preserve the dignity of the human spirit. For more information in English, see the Three Stories of Galicia website.

Full version, only in Ukrainian:

Golden September. Chronicles of Galicia (2010)

Multicultural prewar Galicia fell victim to the twentieth century’s two largest tyrants, Hitler and Stalin. The prewar lifestyle, culture, and ethnic diversity of the region were systematically and deliberately destroyed.

The film is based on eyewitness accounts of these events – representatives of the Ukrainian, Polish, and Jewish communities who until the 1940s represented the main ethnic groups of Galicia. The film uses newsreels and commentaries from leading scholars and historians.

Read more here.

Full version with English subtitles:

Image Before My Eyes (1981)

Using historical footage, still photographs, and live interviews, the filmmaker tells the story of Jewish life in Poland between the two World Wars. Includes scenes of urban and rural life, and covers the rise and flourishing of the many religious and secular economic, political, and social movements which characterized Jewish society at this time.

Boris Dorfman – A Mentsh

“‘A Mentsh’ is a movie shot entirely in the Yiddish language, which makes it unique. It’s set in the former multinational city of Lviv, Ukraine, and the first part of a planned Yiddish trilogy (Lviv, Tel Aviv, New York). Lviv was a centre of Jewish life for 600 years. 75 years after the beginning of World War II, Boris Dorfman takes us on a trip to all the places of horror and hope reflecting the Jewish history. The 90-year-old activist is virtually the last one in town still speaking the almost extinct language of Yiddish. While remembering the past, he lives in the present and tries to prepare the people for the future. He is ‘a mentsh’, someone full of love and empathy.” (description from IMDB)

Trailer:

Feature Films

Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors (1965)

A famous film by Sergey Parajanov, based on Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky’s novel of the same name. Deep in the Carpathian Mountains of nineteenth-century Galicia, fate tragically decrees that two lovers will remain apart.

Full version in regional Hutsul dialect with English subtitles:

Hutsulka Ksenia (2019)

1939. A young Ukrainian-American man Yaro comes to the Carpathian Mountains, because his father left him a fortune under the condition that he would marry a Ukrainian girl. There Yaro meets a Hutsul girl Ksenya and has to rethink his plan. A musical featuring music by the Dakh Daughters.

Trailer:

Academic Lectures

The Myth of Galicia Martin Pollack

The Dissolution of the Austria-Hungary

A lecture filmed at Lviv’s Center for Urban history

East West Street: in conversation with Philippe Sands

A conversation with the author of East West Street, a compelling memoir that reveals the Jewish legal minds who sowed the seeds for human rights law at the Nuremberg trials. Many of the events take place in Lviv.

The Jews of Galicia A History