Inheritance

A Short Film

Six Lessons from the making of “Shoah”


Claude Lanzmann reflects on the 30th anniversary of his groundbreaking documentary, “Shoah” in this interview via IndieWire.

 

60 Minutes – Holocaust Archive

I recently received links to this story that aired on CBS’s 60 MINUTES about a massive secret German archive containing information on 17.5 million victims of the Holocaust. Located in the German town of Bad Arolsen, the archive has 16 miles of shelving containing 50 million pages of documents and until recently, was off-limits to the public.

After the German government agreed to open the archives, CBS News’ Scott Pelley traveled there with three Jewish survivors who were able to see their own Holocaust records.  This serves as another important record of why we can’t forget.

 

Find Inheritance on Facebook

With the successful release of Inheritance on DVD and the subsequent redesign of this website, we’ve gotten lots of new fans and supporters.  Because we feel the cause is just, we can never have too many supporters, and from the suggestions of many, we’ve decided to leverage the Social networking site Facebook.  So we now have a Fan page for the film which features the movie in it’s entirety, links to the DVD, a feed of this news blog, and copies of the photo gallery.  If you have a Facebook account, please become a Fan and help us spread the word.  Thanks!

Facebook is a registered trademark of Facebook, Inc.
 

Obama: ‘I will not forget’

Last week, Obama visited the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany, He publicly  challenged “those who insist the Holocaust never happened.”   See video below.

 

Now on DVD

Inheritance Now on DVD

As I mentioned last month, we have been working on a new Inheritance DVD, and today we are pleased to announce that it is now available on DVD in partnership with Create Space and Amazon.com.  We know the film is available in it’s entirety on-line right here, but with the DVD not only do you get a high quality image with none of the web artifacts, you’re also financially helping to further the education of the holocaust, because all proceeds from the sale after production and duplication fees will be donated to the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust.  Plus we intentionally didn’t include the normal DVD encryption  that prevents you from making copies so you can freely make additional copies of the DVD to share with friends, neighbors, and strangers.  It’s not about the money, it’s all about reminding people that this can not happen again.

Each DVD is only $10 and includes:

  • Newly remastered film from the original source files and enhanced for playback on widescreen televisions
  • Photo gallery featuring a sampling of Anthony Cuoco’s original photographs, including some not used in the film
  • Digital copy of the original screenplay and press kit.
  • No CSS copy protection.  We encourage you to make additional copies to spread the word.

Please help us remind the world that the holocaust was real by buying a copy now through the Not Afraid! Create space store.

 

64 Year Anniversary of Buchenwald

64th Anniversary of the Liberation of Buchenwald

64 Years ago today, April 11th, 1945, the US Army liberated the Buchenwald Concentration camp in Germany.    12 years ago,  my grandfather, Anthony Cuoco passed on, and in the aftermath we discovered that he had been there.  He never talked about it.  We were never able to hear the details first hand, but through those pictures I began to dig and research,  and the culmination of that research and his photos was this film.

It is very much a labor of love, but much more than that I felt a responsibility to make sure this story was told.  I had the tools, the training, the knowledge, and the proof.

My friend and producer Jeff Loach and I poured our hearts and souls into making the film happen.  Jeff as the amazing producer that he is, wouldn’t rest until we secured Harrison Young our first choice to play my Grandfather.

The film debuted April 9th 2005 at the San Fernando Valley International Film Festival,  just two days prior to the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Buchenwald.  The timing was not lost on me, and I felt there was more to it than serendipity.  Harrison Young, passed away only a few short months later.

Recently, I have seen a spate of blog posts, you tube videos, and other hateful communications saying that these concentration camps never existed.  That the  holocaust was a massive conspiracy.  I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears, even though my research had told me that 17% of American’s don’t believe this happened, it seems that worldwide those numbers are even greater.  For a moment I felt like a failure.  That despite my best efforts, we as human beings are doomed to repeat these horrible atrocities.  In the news, I see examples of ethnic cleansing still happening today and I’m sick to my stomach.

Then I received an e-mail from a history teacher in Bradenton, FL.  He had watched the film online on IMDB.com, and contacted me to get a copy of the film to show is students, telling me that, “It says more in less than 10 minutes than I could tell them myself in 90 minutes.”    I remembered, that this wasn’t the first such request.  I had received dozens over the years including a man from Italy who asked for a transcript since the online version had no subtitles.  While others can post world-wide about how it never happened, I can still provide that much needed counter-point.

So today, on the 64th anniversary of the liberation of Buchenwald, I am making the film available online for the first time in it’s full resolution via Vimeo.com.  I will also be releasing the the film to the public on DVD in cooperation with Amazon.com, and will be donating all proceeds from the sale of these DVD’s to the American Veterans Association and the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust.

I know many have you reading this have seen it previously at film festivals, personal screenings, and on-line, but I urge you to please watch it again, then pass it on.  Share the links,  forward the e-mails, talk about it with your kids.  As I wrote in the film, “This can not happen again.”

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Paul Cuoco

 

It Cannot Happen Again

Inheritance,  has had a long life as short films go, and on May 31st, just a few days after Memorial Day, it won its first award for best drama at the 4th Annual Universal Studios Hollywood Team Member Film Festival. This festival is open only to employees of Universal Studios, which is where I currently spend my days developing themed attractions. With a stellar panel of film and television professionals judging the films that included Ron Meyer, it was quite an honor to receive.

As much as it was an honor, however, that’s not why I’ve finally gotten back to blog. What’s compelled me to write is the reaction that I’ve received from the film. I’ve gotten accolades for the film in the past, the ubiquitous congratulations from friends and family. My wife tells me how it’s her favorite of all my films. I’ve shaken hands with people at film festivals, and been written to by folks around the globe from making it available on-line here and on YouTube, but this time it’s different. When it last screened at VIFFI, it played well and hushed the audience before sustained applause, but after we left the festival, the experience was over. With this screening, it again hushed the audience and drew two rounds of applause, but since it was screened for employees, the people I work with, the experience has continued for me in ways it hasn’t in the past. Other employees whom I have never met congratulate me on the elevator, in the halls, or at commissary. People have pulled me aside with tears in their eyes telling me what a profound effect the film has had on them. I’ve received e-mails requesting copies of the film on DVD. People have shared the online links with friends and family, and the messages still come days later. This has overwhelmed me, for the simple fact the heart and soul of the film, was to show these images to the world so it cannot be forgotten. That was the legacy of the film, and it is finally being realized. It may have had this effect all along, but that was never shared with me until now. I feel the films audience has grown exponentially thanks to this festival, and I am thankful to Karen Fung and Christiane Sentianin at Universal for putting it on.

That said, the film can still reach even more people, but it needs help. I’ve always wanted this film to reach as large an audience as possible and with the internet the audience is unlimited. Please visit these links and watch the film. Tell others about it. E-mail your friends, your families. Let it be known that the holocaust was real, that it cannot be forgotten, and cannot happen again.

Sincerely,

Paul Cuoco
30K feet over the Gulf of Mexico, 7:15 PST – 6/5/07

 

Almost 50 years to the day…

Inheritance’s first public screening was at the San Fernando Valley International Film Festival on April 9, 2005, almost 50 years to the day of the liberation on April 11, 1945. When the coincidence dawned on me, it was eerie, but also gave me an odd sense of validation, as if my Grandfather, his unit, and the holocaust victims approved. It was an honor. If you’ve seen the film I’d love to hear your comments.