In this award-winning 28-minute documentary film, a Holocaust survivor's remembrances, told in uniquely beautiful stitched images, bring an uplifting life story to the screen. Esther Nisenthal was 15 years old in October of 1942 when the Jews of her village in Poland were ordered by the Nazis to report to a nearby train station. Esther refused to go. Instead, saying goodbye to their family, she and her 13-year old sister Mania invented new identities for themselves as Polish Catholic farm girls, hiding in plain sight from the Nazis. Esther's story of survival is remarkable on its own. But it is all the more extraordinary because of her method of storytelling--stitching and embroidering. It comes to us with unexpected beauty in a series of 36 large fabric collages, intricately embroidered in vivid color, created more than 40 years after the war. They depict one young girl's eyewitness account, scenes of tragedy and trauma juxtaposed with the exquisite beauty of the natural surroundings. It is as if nothing escaped Esther's attention, or her memory. Through Esther's own words and images of her art work, as well as interviews with her daughters and others, "Through the Eye of the Needle" explores the capacity of the human heart to heal. Through these reflections, we are reminded that genocide and other acts of baseless hatred are still with us, and that Esther's story, and those like hers, compels us to build a just and peaceful world for all.
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