Film Director Johnathan Andrews Brings A New Film To The Screens In November 2019
The film is made in association with The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, The Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre and The Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania to the Republic of South Africa.
Because of Stalin is a personal story of tragic losses in the Gulag camps, escapes, deceit and a journey to freedom.
Mordechai Perlov (92 year old living in Johannesburg, South Africa) is a Lithuanian Jew who was deported 14 June 1941 from Raseiniai, Lithuania, to Ust'-Lokchim in the Komi Republic (USSR), by the Soviet Red Army.
Mordechai, his family and other Lithuanians who were considered as enemies of the Soviet state were taken as prisoners to chop trees in various labour camps in the Komi Republic. The living conditions there were inhumane, with temperatures in winter dropping to minus 40 degrees. He was 15 years old at the time and decided that he would rather "escape this hell, than to die."
Mordechai tells the story of his journey and his attempts to reunite his family, his steps and his resilience to get back a life. This took him through Northern USSR, Poland, Ukraine, Italy, Cyprus, Israel and eventually South Africa, where he became a successful businessman.
The story of Mordechai Perlov is a story of the tragic violation of innocent people's human rights under the communist regime of Stalin, and is an example to us of a man who found meaning and purpose in life despite near indescribable hardships and trauma.
Read about the film title and poster artwork on the UWN website - the film is made under Johnathan's project #GETPeaceProject "making films that make a difference." As pert of the team, Annalisa Ferrari is Executive Producer and is playing a key role in archival research for this complex narrative.
Part of the filmmaking process includes shooting in the Special Archives in Lithuania - This archive preserves records of the former Lithuanian SSR division of KGB, USSR, dating 1940-1991, records of the Lithuanian SSR Ministry of Interior dating 1944-1990 and records of communist and socialist organizations, dating from the 19th c. until 1991, that witness the genocide of the Lithuanian people.