From Swastika to Jim Crow

This powerful documentary tells the little known story of German Jewish refugees from Hitler who found homes at historically Black colleges in the American South. Remarkable interviews with these soulful scholars and their brilliant students, as well as rich archival footage from the period, are woven together to reveal the links between anti-Semitism in Germany and racism in the United States.. But the film is not simply a sobering history lesson; it is an uplifting, often humorous story about culture clash, solidarity amidst oppression and the ways in which lasting relationships and a community of intellect and spirit were built in the most unlikely of situations.
Director Lori Cheatle is a feature and documentary film producer. She is most recently a producer of the films "Stranger Than Fiction" (dir. by Esther Bell), "Stringer" (dir. Klaus Biedermann, with Burt Reynolds) and was Line Producer on "Corps Plonge" (dir. by Raoul Peck) and "Tempest" (with Maria de Medeiros and Jackie Berroyer). In documentaries, Cheatle produced "American Corner," a film about a Vietnam veteran community in Washington State, "Behind Stringer" (dir. by Amy Hobby, with Tawnee Welch). She has previously worked with Pacific Street on the films "Final Take: The Irvine Fertility Scandal" for Lifetime Television and "Sidney Lumet: An American Director" for Paramount Pictures and Aaron Spelling Television. This is her first time as a director., Since the founding of Pacific Street Films in 1969, producers Steven Fischler and Joel Sucher have produced, directed and written award-winning documentary films on a wide variety of historical, cultural and political themes. They have received numerous awards and grants, including Guggenheim Fellowships in Film, Emmy Awards, Cine Golden Eagles and the prestigious John Grierson Award for Social Documentaries. Investigative films include: "Red Squad" (1971) and "Frame-Up: The Imprisonment of Martin Sostre" (1974). "Free Voice of Labor: The Jewish Anarchists" (1980) and "Anarchism in America" (1981) examined the history of this complex philosophy and the influence it has had on American culture and politics. They have also produced compelling long-form portraits of individuals, ranging from "Albert Szent-Gyorgyi: A Special Gift" (1984) about the late Hungarian Nobel prize winner, to rock 'n roll legend Frankie Lymon, "I Promise to Remember" (1983), as well as documentaries on several Hollywood luminaries, including "Martin Scorsese Directs" (1990), "Jessica Lange: It's Only Make Believe" (1991), and "Oliver Stone: Inside/Out" (1992)., Director Lori Cheatle is a feature and documentary film producer. She is most recently a producer of the films "Stranger Than Fiction" (dir. by Esther Bell), "Stringer" (dir. Klaus Biedermann, with Burt Reynolds) and was Line Producer on "Corps Plonge" (dir. by Raoul Peck) and "Tempest" (with Maria de Medeiros and Jackie Berroyer). In documentaries, Cheatle produced "American Corner," a film about a Vietnam veteran community in Washington State, "Behind Stringer" (dir. by Amy Hobby, with Tawnee Welch). She has previously worked with Pacific Street on the films "Final Take: The Irvine Fertility Scandal" for Lifetime Television and "Sidney Lumet: An American Director" for Paramount Pictures and Aaron Spelling Television. This is her first time as a director. Since the founding of Pacific Street Films in 1969, producers Steven Fischler and Joel Sucher have produced, directed and written award-winning documentary films on a wide variety of historical, cultural and political themes. They have received numerous awards and grants, including Guggenheim Fellowships in Film, Emmy Awards, Cine Golden Eagles and the prestigious John Grierson Award for Social Documentaries. Investigative films include: "Red Squad" (1971) and "Frame-Up: The Imprisonment of Martin Sostre" (1974). "Free Voice of Labor: The Jewish Anarchists" (1980) and "Anarchism in America" (1981) examined the history of this complex philosophy and the influence it has had on American culture and politics. They have also produced compelling long-form portraits of individuals, ranging from "Albert Szent-Gyorgyi: A Special Gift" (1984) about the late Hungarian Nobel prize winner, to rock 'n roll legend Frankie Lymon, "I Promise to Remember" (1983), as well as documentaries on several Hollywood luminaries, including "Martin Scorsese Directs" (1990), "Jessica Lange: It's Only Make Believe" (1991), and "Oliver Stone: Inside/Out" (1992)., Co-director/Editor Martin Toub has directed, photographed and edited Pacific Street productions since 1986. His shooting and editing credits for long-form documentaries include BLUE HELMETS: THE HISTORY OF UN PEACEKEEPING (PBS, 1988); MARTIN SCORSESE DIRECTS (PBS, 1991); JESSICA LANGE: ITS ONLY MAKE BELIEVE (Cinemax, 1992); OLIVER STONE: INSIDE/OUT (Showtime/BBC, 1993). He has also directed the Pacific Street production of the 1993 LINCOLN-DOUBLAS DEBATES (which won an Emmy for best directing); THE IRVINE FERTILITY SCANDAL, for Lifetime Television (1996), and most recently completed THE OTHER HALF...REVISITED -- THE LEGACY OF JACOB RIIS, underwritten by The Ford Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Recently, Mr. Toub directed and edited a 12-part series, EXPLORING THE WORLD OF MUSIC, for Pacific Street, underwritten by the Annenberg Fund of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
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USA
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Festival Year(s)
Running Time
56