October 19, 2009 Israeli Filmmaker to Screen and Discuss "The Woman From Sarajevo" At the Library of Congress on Nov. 9

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: Gail Shirazi (202) 707-9897

With a theme of “one good turn deserves another,” a film titled “The Woman From Sarajevo” will be shown at the Library of Congress at 1 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 9 in the Pickford Theater, located on the third floor of the Library’s James Madison Building at 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

Israeli filmmaker Ella Alterman will discuss her film following the screening.

The program, which is sponsored jointly by the Library’s European Division and the Hebrew Language Table in cooperation with the Israeli Embassy, is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required.

The 65-minute film (in Serbian, English and Hebrew, with English subtitles) is a story about Zineba Hardaga’s Serbian family, who hid a Jewish family during WWII and saved its members from certain death. Later, she became the first Muslim woman to be honored by Israel as “Righteous Among Nations,” recognition given to non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis. Fifty years later, the situation is reversed and it is the Jewish family’s turn to rescue the Hardaga family from the inferno of Sarajevo.

Alterman, professor of dramatic writing and directing at Haifa University and at the School of Playwrights in Tel Aviv, has a rich and varied experience as a writer and director for the theater, musicals, television programs and documentary films. Her films include “The People of Magdal Shams,” the story of six

Druze villagers whose futures are linked to the elusive peace between Israel and Syria; “A Fence in the Middle of the Sitting Room,” the story of a Syrian village divided between two nations; and “With Strong Hand,” which looks at the lives of orthodox Jews who are also masters of Asian martial arts. She is especially interested in exploring the lives of women who demonstrate the courage to forge their own paths, as in “Photo Birr,” the story of 10 women traveling to the south of Ethiopia, and “When Caca Met Sugra,” the story of middle-class career women traversing the Mongolian wilderness.

For more than a decade, the Embassy of Israel has been presenting the Library of Congress with moving-image material to complement more than 100 items in the Library’s Embassy of Israel collection. First presented to the Library in 1997 by Ambassador Eliahu Ben-Elissar, the collection is made possible under the terms of a Feb. 19, 1950 agreement between the United States and Israel (Treaties and Other International Acts Series 2169), under which the official publications of Israeli government agencies are made available through the Library of Congress.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at myLOC.gov.


PR 09-211
ISSN 0731-3527