Oro Macht Frei
Runtime: 70 Minutes
Directed by: Jeffrey X. Bonna
Producers: Joel Markel and Catherine Campbell
Production Studio: Ottimo Films
Saturday, May 24 2014, 12:10 PM – 2:00 PM | Ticket Info
Oro Macht Frei is a documentary film about the Roman Jews and the the Nazi occupation of Rome told through the personal testimonies of nine Roman Jews, archival footage, family photos and the contribution of renowned scholars on the subject. OMF presents the period of Jewish persecution in Italy from the Italian Racial Laws (1938) through the Nazi occupation, with particular focus on Kappler’s Gold Extortion when Jews gave gold to save lives.
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About the Filmmaker
Jeffrey X. Bonna, Director
A graduate of Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Jeffrey Bonna started in the film industry working for documentary film legend Ken Burns. He found that his strong writing background combined well with the craft of filmmaking, creating a natural fit for work on documentaries and biographies. After the completion of Ken Burn’s West Film Project, he worked in the film industry where he edited, scripted, and produced hundreds of biographies for some of New York’s most prominent citizens. Jeff founded his own production company, Jacklight Productions, in 2003. The company continued his development of biographies for private clientele. In 2005, Jeff formed a second company with Joel Markel, Ottimo Films, dedicated to the creation of documentary films.
Joel Markel, Executive Producer
The son of an Hungarian Auschwitz survivor, Joel has long desired to contribute to the field of Holocaust memory to honor the experience of his mother and the millions of victims of the Jewish genocide. In 2004, during a tour of the Roman Ghetto, Joel first heard the story of Kappler’s gold extortion and felt connected to it through the generations that his family had worked as jewelers. Joel believes that the story of the Roman Jewish experience of WWII, compelling in itself, will have the power, to shed light on a reality experienced by millions.
Catherine Campbell, Producer/Editor/Writer
Catherine Campbell has been a producer of the film Oro Macht Frei since 2006 and has worked intimately on almost every aspect of the film. She received a BA from Hampshire College (Amherst, MA, 1997) with a thesis on “Dante’s use of allegory in the Divine Comedy.” From 2001-2007, she was enrolled in a Doctoral Program in Italian Studies at NYU studying medieval and renaissance Italian literature and philosophy, as well as “modern” Italian literature, with John Freccero, Maria Luisa Ardizzone, and Francesco Erspamer. Catherine has worked as an Italian language teacher, translator and interpreter for over 19 years and has lived and worked between Italy and the USA since 1994. She brings her extensive knowledge of Italian language and culture, along with her research interests in the fields of Italian history, WWII, and storytelling to the project.
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