Dir. Michael Drob (87min, USA, 2014)
Russian and English with English Subtitles
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.
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.