“Through the Eye of the Needle: The Art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz”

•November 25, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Directed by Nina Shapiro-Perl

A Production of Art and Remembrance


30 minutes

Esther Nisenthal was 15 years old in October of 1942 when the Jews of her tiny village in Poland were ordered by the Nazis to report to a nearby train station. Anyone remaining would be shot. Esther refused to go, begging her parents for the name of “someone, a Gentile, anyone” who would take her in. Hearing the name “Stefan” she prepares to leave. Kissing her family goodbye she departs with her 13 year-old sister Mania, never to see her other loved ones again. Turned away by Stefan, Esther invents new identities for herself and Mania — now Polish Catholic farm girls–as they hide in plain sight from the Nazis.

Esther’s story of survival is remarkable on its own. But it is all the more extraordinary because of her method of storytelling—stitching and embroidering. It comes to us with unexpected beauty in a series of 36 wall-sized fabric collages, intricately embroidered in vivid color, created more than 40 years after the war. They depict one young girl’s eyewitness account of the war, scenes of tragedy and trauma juxtaposed with the exquisite beauty of the natural surroundings. It is as if nothing escaped Esther’s attention, or her memory.

Through Esther’s own words and images as well as interviews with Esther’s daughters, a noted folklorist, and two psychologists, we explore the toll of suffering and the capacity of the human heart to heal. Through these reflections, we are reminded of the dangers of labeling someone else “the Other,” that genocide and acts of baseless hatred are still with us, and that Esther’s story, and those like hers, compel us to build a just and peaceful world for all.


Winner – Audience Favorite Documentary Award!

•November 24, 2011 • Leave a Comment

At the World Premiere of the Film at the Washington Jewish Film Festival in December, Through the Eye of the Needle: The Art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz won the Audience Favorite Documentary Award!

Please join us in celebrating this honor!
To read more about the Washington Jewish Film Festival, please click here.

Help Us Raise Finishing Funds for This Film!

•November 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Through the Eye of the Needle: The Art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz has its world premiere at the Washington Jewish Film Festival on December 5, 2011. It is in need of completion funds to finish and distribute widely—to schools, unions, community and religious groups, film festivals, for broadcast and to travel with the exhibit to museums.

Donations should be made to Art and Remembrance, Inc., and can be mailed to 5505 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington DC 20015

Or log-on to the donation page of Art and Remembrance, Inc. at:


Or to print out the donation form: http://www.artandremembrance.org/view/main_view/pdfs/ARDonationForm.pdf

Nina Shapiro-Perl

•November 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment


Nina Shapiro-Perl is an award-winning producer and director who currently holds the position of Filmmaker-in-Residence at American University, where she teaches and leads the Community Voice Project (www.communityvoiceproject.org.) Before joining the faculty of American University, she worked for twenty years building and directing the Video Services Department and Greenhouse Cultural Program of the Service Employees International Union. Nina earned her doctorate from the University of Connecticut as a social anthropologist.  Her first job outside academia was as a writer and producer at Maryland Public Television. She is married to Peter Perl, a veteran at the Washington Post and has two grown sons, Daniel and Matthew, a daughter-in-law, Naomi and a granddaughter, Talia.

Art and Remembrance on Facebook!

•November 22, 2011 • Leave a Comment

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