Students of film take note. The independent film, Shoes plays this week at the San Diego Jewish Film Festival, and it makes perfect use of the medium of film. No dialogue or subtitles or introduction is needed as this very personal, yet universal, story from the Holocaust unfolds.
The viewer follows a pair of bright red shoes (worn by an anonymous woman) through a visually detailed landscape. We travel with them from a fancy shop in a small town, through early, happy adult life, and ultimately to Auschwitz.
Writer, director, producer Costa Fam was moved to create his film, Shoes, as a vibrant memory to those family members he lost during the Holocaust, as well as the other 6 million Jews who perished. An important reminder for those of us not as close to the on-going impact of the event – many of the dead were buried in mass graves, or incinerated. “I don’t have graves [to visit] of my relatives who died during the Second World War. Therefore my intention was to create a memorial to them”, reveals Fam.
Fam and his film crew traveled to five different countries to shoot Shoes. Fam is Russian, so he wanted to tell the story of European Jews. “Paris was (and is) a symbol of Love, Osweicim is the main symbol of Tragedy. Peaceful life was filmed in Czech, and scenes of war, and the crowd scenes were filmed in Belarus.
Although Fam has worked in the television and film field for over 15 years, this first serious work was rather spontaneous. Fortunately, he found great collaboration. His team includes people from Russia, Belarus, Czech, France, and the United States. The beautiful, haunting score was composed by his nephew, Egor Romaniko, a Moscow Conservatory graduate. His entire family is musically talented. The score for Romaniko was about family as well.
Shoes plays on February 10 at the San Diego Jewish Film Festival. For more information please go to www.sdjc.org. It is well worth the trip if you are in the area. Costa Fam will be in attendance. Or watch for Shoes to play in an independent film festival near you.