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“Gruber’s Journey,” An Exploration of Romanian Jews and the Holocaust

B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation in Albany will host a screening of “Gruber’s Journey,” Romanian director Radu Gabrea’s fictional story of an Italian journalist’s discovery of the murder of the Romanian Jews during the Holocaust, and a discussion led by psychologist and B’nai Sholom congregant Dr. Steven Nozik.

The film will be shown Saturday, March 16, at 7:30 p.m. at B’nai Sholom, 420 Whitehall Road, Albany. Refreshments will be available. Admission: $3 contribution.

Gabrea’s 2008 film is in Romanian, German and Italian with English subtitles.

In June 1941, Curzio Malaparte (Florin Piersic Jr.), an Italian journalist and member of the Fascist party, arrives in the Romanian city of Iasi on the way to cover the Russian front for an Italian newspaper. Suffering from severe allergies, he is referred to Josef Gruber (Marcel Iureş), a local Jewish doctor. Desperate to find the missing doctor, Malaparte must navigate the outrageous and increasingly sinister bureaucracy of Nazi-occupied Romania. What begins as an absurdist wild goose chase leads directly to the heart of the final solution and the disastrous fate of the local Jews.

“Gruber’s Journey” is the first Romanian fiction feature film to explore the Holocaust and the murder of the Romanian Jews. Gabrea based the film on Curzio Malaparte’s real wartime experiences chronicled in his 1944 novel Kaputt, which editor Edwin Frank calls “a terrifying report from the abyss…an insider’s dispatch from the world of the enemy that is as hypnotically fascinating as it is disturbing.” “Gruber’s Journey” garnered “Best Director” at the 2009 Levante International Film Festival in Italy.

“Gruber’s Journey” has been provided by The National Center for Jewish Film (www.jewishfilm.org).

The film promises to spark an interesting discussion to be led by Dr. Nozik. A licensed psychologist with the Stratton Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Albany, and his own private practice, Nozik specializes in the treatment of psychological trauma, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, relationship problems, anger management, adjustment disorders and addictions. Nozik created and served as the first director of the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Program treating combat veterans at the Stratton VA Medical Center. He also has served as director of the Young Veterans Program treating trauma and addictions at the VA Medical Center in Northport and the Chemical Dependency Rehabilitation Program at the Stratton VA. Nozik is an adjunct professor of psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University at Albany and a clinical instructor of psychiatry at Albany Medical College.

Nozik and his wife Debra reside in Delmar. Their son, Ethan, is a senior at SUNY Oneonta.

For more information, visit www.bnaisholom.albany.ny.us or contact the B’nai Sholom office at 518-482-5283 or e-mail office@bnaisholom.albany.ny.us.

Founded in 1971, B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation in Albany is a home for contemporary Reform Judaism in the Capital Region. Nearly 160 diverse households from six counties seek religious, educational and social fulfillment at B’nai Sholom.

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Image credit: The National Center for Jewish Film

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