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November 7-9, 2014

Ahead of Time

Zeva Oelbaum
Sabine Krayenbuehl
73 minutes

Ahead of Time is a feature-length documentary film on the remarkable life of 97-year-old Ruth Gruber. Born in Brooklyn in 1911, Ruth became the youngest PhD in the world at age 20. As a student in Germany in 1931, she attended a Hitler rally observing first-hand the rising tide of Nazism. Ruth became a foreign correspondent and photojournalist at age 24. A feminist before feminism, Ruth was the first journalist to enter the Soviet Arctic in 1935. She traveled to Alaska as a member of the Roosevelt administration in 1941, where she was the first civilian on the Alaska Highway. 

Ruth’s unique perspective of the events surrounding WWII is a result of her involvement in many of those historical moments. She was chosen by the Roosevelt administration to escort 1000 Holocaust refugees from Naples to New York in a secret wartime mission in 1944. As a journalist, she accompanied leaders to the Middle East where they studied the problems of displaced persons and Palestine. Ruth covered the Nuremberg trials in 1946 and her photos of the ship Exodus 1947 were published in Life Magazine and around the world. With her love of adventure, fearlessness and powerful intellect, Ruth defied tradition and in the process, emerged as the eyes and conscience of the world. Today, Ruth still has the moxie and sharp wit that propelled her career, and the film interweaves vérité footage with interviews and archival material. 

Zeva Oelbaum is the founder of Reel Inheritance Films, a documentary film production company. She met Ruth Gruber several years ago, after becoming friends with Doris Schechter (co-Executive Producer of Ahead of Time) who was brought to America by Ruth as a Holocaust refugee in 1944. Zeva was executive producer of Rene and I, a feature documentary on Irene Hizme and Rene Slotkin who were 6 years old when they were experimented on by Josef Mengele at Auschwitz. The film was broadcasted on NBC. 

Zeva is a noted still photographer whose work has been extensively published in such periodicals as The New York Times Magazine. Two collections of her photographs have been published by Rizzoli with foreword essays by Susan Orlean (The Orchid Thief) and Tracey Chevalier (Girl with a Pearl Earring). 

Sabine Krayenbuehl is an award winning documentary film editor. She was nominated by the American Cinema Editors for an Eddie Award for My Architect. Her other documentary projects include Mad Hot Ballroom and The Bridge. Her most recent project, Picasso and Braque Go To The Movies, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in Fall 2008.

Saturday, November 6, 2010
Block 1b: 8:45am - 10:25am