MHM Film Club: “Defiant Requiem” (2012) 85 mins

The MHM Film Club will be screening the documentary “Defiant Requieum”, (2012) 85 min USA/UK/Czech Republic. Directed by Dough Shultz.

Guest Speaker: Irma Hanner, Survivor of Theresienstadt Concentration Camp Survivor

Defiant Requiem, a feature-length documentary film, highlights the most dramatic example of intellectual and artistic courage in the Theresienstadt (Terezín) Concentration Camp during World War II: the remarkable story of Rafael Schächter, a brilliant, young Czech conductor who was arrested and sent to Terezín in 1941. He demonstrated moral leadership under the most brutal circumstances, determined to sustain courage and hope for his fellow prisoners by enriching their souls through great music.

His most extraordinary act was to recruit 150 prisoners and teach them Verdi’s Requiem by rote in a dank cellar using a single score, over multiple rehearsals, and after grueling days of forced labor. The Requiem was performed on 16 occasions for fellow prisoners. The last, most infamous performance occurred on June 23, 1944 before highranking SS officers from Berlin and the International Red Cross to support the charade that the prisoners were treated well and flourishing.

The aim of the MHM Film Club is to view and discuss films about the Holocaust, other genocides and human rights issues. Monthly film screenings are followed by guest speakers and informal discussion.