The Forgiveness of Judith Malina premiered on August 14, 2017
at The Framestore Preview Theater in London, UK.
It has subsequently screened at “Special Program”of New Filmmakers New York
at Anthology Film Archives on July 7, 2019 and is included in the program of
Secret Treaties: Strange Political Bedfellows
at Film Noir Cinema.
The Forgiveness of Judith Malina considers the ethics of forgiveness in the context of the Holocaust.
As director of The Living Theatre, Judith Malina (1926–2015) was a giant of the American avant-garde, and as an actor, she had roles in classic Hollywood films like Dog Day Afternoon, The Addams Family, and Flaming Creatures as well as The Sopranos. Born to Jewish parents who escaped Nazi Germany, Malina formed The Living Theatre in 1946 and became an influential figure in the burgeoning postwar American counterculture.
Among the first performances of The Living Theatre was a faithful adaptation of a work by poet Ezra Pound (1885–1972). Just a few years prior, Pound had promoted fascism and hatred of Jews on Italian radio. The Forgiveness of Judith Malina asks why a Jewish refugee from Hitler’s Germany would inaugurate an anarchist theater with the work of an artist who, only a few years earlier, supported regimes that sought world domination—including her own death. Even after the war, Pound did not recant. He was classified insane to avoid treason charges, published his Pisan Cantos, renounced America for Italy, gave a fascist salute to reporters, and took a vow of silence.
Original musical score by James Sclavunos (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds) and Peter Mavrogeorgis.