A Film by Lukas Stepanik & Bernadette Wegenstein (2011)
Premiered at Maryland Film Festival.
See You Soon Again is not a Holocaust film. It is a film about how hard it is to tell a story of unspeakable suffering, and how impossible it is not to.
Leo Bretholz has a choice. He can continue to tell his story in the Baltimore schools, as he has over two thousand five hundred times since escaping a train bound for Auschwitz, or he can give in to his Holocaust fatigue. At a prickly ninety years old, his impatience for questioning students and tactless acquaintances grows as does Leo’s anxiety about who will tell the story once he and others are gone. See You Soon Again is inspired by the memoir Leap into Darkness: Seven Years on the Run in Wartime Europe (Randomhouse) by Leo Bretholz and Michael Olesker.
Leo Bretholz was born on March 6, 1921, into a Jewish family of Polish descent in Vienna's 20th district, which together with the 2nd district forms Vienna's "Mazzo-island." One of an estimated total of 2,500 survivors of 50,000 Austrian Jews killed during the Holocaust, he has resided in Baltimore's Pikesville neighborhood since 1947.
Bluma Shapiro was born on August 28, 1923 in Bialystok, Poland. She was born into a middle-class family with five older siblings: Sarah, Josef, Aaron, Fanie, and Moses. Bluma's father, Baruch David Erenkranc, worked as a partner in a loan association, and she remembers her family as "a very close-knit family." Bluma attended a private Jewish school where she was very active in the Geographical Club, the Textile Club
and the German Club. Unlike Leo, Bluma does not recall feeling any
anti-Semitism from the people of Bialystok.
Lukas Stepanik is an Austrian director-writer, who has made twenty films (documentaries, feature films, TV-series) and co-produced many more. His feature film Gebirtig (2002)—about Holocaust survivor Hermann Gebirtig, who emigrated to New York after WWII, where he enjoyed a successful career as a composer of musicals and hit songs—was the Austrian nominee for the Oscars in 2003. He is a professor at the Vienna Film Academy. Extrafilm, his production company together with Bernd Neuburger, was founded in 1980.
Austrian-born Bernadette Wegenstein is a Research Professor at the Johns Hopkins University, where she directs the Center for Advanced Media Studies at. She produced the documentary Made Over in America (Icarusfilms, 2007), exploring the culture of extreme makeover shows. She is currently in pre-production with a documentary on the history and culture of breast cancer.
Patrick Wright co-produced and was associate editor for Music By Prudence which won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short. He has made films on HIV/AIDS, clergy sexual abuse and a profile of Ann Coulter. Wright currently is Chair of the Video and Film Arts Department at the Maryland Institute College of Art.