Old Country

July 1 - October 31, 2005

This film, adapted from a stage work by a Toronto-based dance company, offers a contemporary perspective on a European community confronted with the Holocaust.

Old Country (2004)—a 24-minute film adapted from stage work by the Toronto-based company Kaeja d’Dance—offers a contemporary perspective on a European community confronted with the Holocaust.  Set in Kutno, Poland in 1939 and in Ottawa, Canada in 2003, the film reflects on tensions between Poles and Jews in a small town.  As German soldiers approach Kutno, family members disappear, friendships erode, and lives are betrayed.  The film takes the viewer on a kinetic journey using rich cinematography, fluid movement, expressive poetry, and a powerful score.  Old Country is based on personal memories of the choreographer’s father during World War II.

Old Country premiered on CBC Television in 2004 and is a recent acquisition to the Jewish Museum’s National Jewish Archive of Broadcasting.  Founded in 1991, Kaeja d’Dance is a Toronto-based dance company co-directed by Allen and Karen Kaeja.  Their work has been presented at festivals in North America, Europe and Asia and at venues including the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and The Museum of Modern Art, New York.