Jewish Journal

And the Oscar Goes to…

by Tom Tugend

Posted on Mar. 29, 2001 at 7:00 pm

Deborah Oppenheimer, Academy Award winner for "Into the Arms of Stranger: stories of the Kindertransport," will screen the documentary and speak about it at Temple Beth Am on Wed., April 18 at 7 pm (1039 S. La Cienega Blvd.). Two participants of the Kindertransport will also share memories. For more information, call (310) 652-7353, ext. 219.

A Holocaust survivor, a legendary folk singer and a documentary on refugee children during the Nazi era were among the Jewish artists and themes sharing the spotlight during Sunday night's Academy Awards ceremonies.

Branko Lustig, who had been a child prisoner in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, won his second Oscar as co-producer of best picture winner "Gladiator."

In 1993, Lustig earned his first statuette as co-producer of "Schindler's List," beginning his acceptance speech with the words, "My number was A3317; I'm a survivor."

Folk singer and composer Bob Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman, won in the category of best original song for his composition "Things Have Changed" from the film "Wonder Boys." He performed the song via satellite from Sydney, Australia.

Marcia Gay Harden, a non-Jewish actress, received an Oscar as best supporting actress for her wrenching performance as American Jewish artist Lee Krasner in "Pollock," a biographical picture of painter Jackson Pollock.

The evening's most moving remarks were spoken by Deborah Oppenheimer, whose "Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport" was named the best documentary feature.

The film chronicles the rescue of some 10,000 children from Nazi-dominated Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia during the 18 months leading up to World War II, their reception in Great Britain, and their lives after the war.

Oppenheimer dedicated her Oscar to "the survivors of the Kindertransport... to their parents who loved them so much that they had the courage to send them away... to the memory of my mother, who was among the 10,000 children, and to my grandparents, whom she never saw again."

Mark Jonathan Harris, director and writer of "Into the Arms of Strangers," spoke of sharing "the pain and triumph of the people in our film. They have enriched all our lives."

Harris previously directed "The Long Way Home," a documentary about Holocaust survivors, which won an Oscar for its producer, the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

An honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement was conferred on veteran screenwriter Ernest Lehman. His screen credits include "The King and I," "North by Northwest," "West Side Story" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

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