STATELESS

Dir. Michael Drob (87min, USA, 2014)
Russian and English with English Subtitles
Documentary
Mid-Atlantic Premiere 

In the late 1980s, on the brink of the collapse of the Soviet Union, tens of thousands of Soviet Jews were finally allowed to leave the USSR. What they did not expect was that their final destination, America, no longer welcomed them with open arms.

In 1988, American policy suddenly changed and thousands of Soviet Jews were stranded in Italy. Stateless. This documentary captures their stories from the point of view of the émigrés as well as expert accounts of the situation from influential Jewish leaders including David Harris of the AJC, Mark Handelman of NYANA and Mark Hetfield of HIAS.

Co-presented by Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington and The Documentary Center at GWU.

Sunday, March 1, 1:15 pm
DCJCC
1529 16th Street NW
Washington, DC

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Director Michael Drob in conversation after the screening.
Bio
mdrobMichael Drob emigrated from Riga, Latvia, in 1988 at the age of 10. His family was denied refugee status by the United States and remained stranded in Italy for ten months. Deeply affected by this experience, even as a child, Michael wanted to find out the “Why?” behind the denials.

His quest, along with support from COJECO’s BluePrint Fellowship, resulted in this deeply moving film. He hopes it will serve as a tool to educate future generations about this part of Jewish history and provide answers for thousands of immigrants who shared his family’s fate. Michael studied filmmaking at Rutgers University under the tutelage of Oscar winning director Ross Kauffman and has operated his own video production company, Story Tailors, since 2005. Stateless is his first foray into documentary filmmaking.