Artists Rick and Linda Brown are not Jewish and not Polish, and yet they set out to rebuild Gwozdziec, one of the magnificent 18th Century wooden synagogues of Poland, the last of which were destroyed by the Nazis in World War II. Their vision inspires hundreds of people to join them. Using their hands, old tools, and techniques, they rediscover Gwozdzeic’s history, culture, and art.
Raise the Roof follows the Browns and the Handshouse studio team as they begin building the new Gwozdziec roof. The crew has six weeks to hew, saw, carve, and carve 200 freshly cut logs to assemble the structure. Working together, against torrential rain and exhaustion, the team must create the structure and disassemble it for shipping to its new home at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. In the process they also recreate its magnificent painted ceiling, filled with vivid colors and iconic images.
Film provided by National Center for Jewish Film – www,jewishfilm.org
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This program is made possible in part by a grant from Arizona Humanities.