When Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist Dori Laub meets survivors of trauma, he does not give them pills, but rather listens to them and documents their testimony. This film documents his journey between witnesses and memories, as he listens to the survivors with total responsibility and “intimate and total presence.”
The movie tells Laub’s story, depicting his work and gradually revealing his own personal world: his memories as a boy in a concentration camp in Romania, his mother who saved him during the Holocaust, and his German wife Johanna, the daughter of a Nazi officer, who listened to his testimony with all her heart. Toward the end of the film, he attends a meeting of Jewish and Arab students, again demonstrating his ability to listen with infinite devotion and to convey the message of therapeutic listening.
About the Film
From 2015 to 2018, Livne and Ufaz accompanied and documented Dori Laub, Holocaust survivor, psychiatrist, and co-founder of the Fortunoff Video Archive, during the final four years of his life. This film, titled The Listener, documents Laub’s career in testimony, tells his personal story, and brings to screen his total commitment to listening to the victims of traumatic experiences.
Micha Livne has been an independent producer, camera man, video editor, and director since 1983. He has a graduate degree from Beit Zvi School of Performing Arts and Cinema in Ramat Gan, Israel. His most recent works include Moranov (2021) and Closed Story (2015), both of which were screened at the Docaviv Film Festival.
Ohad Ufaz is a filmmaker, film scholar and a Senior Lecturer at Oranim Academic College in Kiryat Tiv'on, Israel. He defended his dissertation, "Camera of Encounter: On the question of documenting and bearing the Other’s testimony in film" at Hebrew University in 2021. Since 1997, Ufaz has directed films that have been broadcast and screened internationally including The Boys from Lebanon (2008) and Going Dutch (2002).
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