Children Must Laugh (Mir Kumen On) (1935) Poland
Directed by Aleksander Ford (Poland) | English and Yiddish with English subtitles (63 Mins)
Directed by Lodz native Aleksander Ford and financed by the Jewish Labour movement in Poland, commonly known as The Bund, “Children Must Laugh”is one of the few surviving documentaries about Jewish life in Poland before WWII. The film was produced to raise funds for the Vladimir Medem Sanitarium, noted for its modern and spacious facilities, which stood as the embodiment of health and enlightenment, in striking contrast to the grim images of urban Polish-Jewish poverty. The sanitarium’s theme song, “Mir Kumen On” (Here We Come), punctuates the film with a sense of hope and accomplishment. The Bund’s optimistic internationalism, exemplified by the children’s endearing performances, permeates the film, creating powerful yet unintended ironies for post-Holocaust audiences. The film will be introduced by Australian guests Anne, Evie and Husky Gawenda, the daughter and grandchildren of one of the young girls who appears in the film. Film restoration and new English subtitles by the National Center for Jewish Film.