SXSW Film

Daily reviews and interviews

SXSW Film

Steal a Pencil for Me

D: Michèle Ohayon

Israeli director Ohayon puts a unique spin on stories of the Holocaust with Steal a Pencil for Me, adapted from the nonfiction book of the same name. In it, survivors Jack (Jaap) Polak and his wife, Ina Soep Polak, tell the story of how they met in Amsterdam before the war, ending up in the same concentration camp together and falling in love. Their main obstacle, apart from the Nazis, was Jack's jealous and capricious wife. Jack and Ina secretly exchanged letters throughout the course of their internment, first at Westerbork and then at Bergen-Belsen, chronicling their growing love for each other and the hardships they endured at the hands of their tormentors. Despite its somewhat muddled and confusing chronology, Steal a Pencil is the kind of story that makes one believe in soulmates; if Jack and Ina can find and keep each other in the middle of genocide, there is hope for lovers everywhere.


9:30pm, Alamo South Lamar

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