Surviving Skokie is an intensely personal documentary by former Skokie resident Eli Adler about the provocative events of the 1970s, their aftermath, his family’s horrific experience of the Shoah and a journey with his father to confront long-suppressed memories.Curiously, the neo-Nazi villain of the story, Frank Collin, is, like Adler, the son of a Holocaust survivor.
Rejecting his father, Collin became a virulent anti-Semite, but his right to demonstrate in Skokie is nevertheless defended by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ever-venomous Collin tells his lead counsel, a Jewish lawyer, “Don’t think just because you are representing me free of charge that when we take over this country you won’t be the first one to go to a gas chamber.”
Putting an end to their years of silence, the survivors peak out so that their painful stories cannot be forgotten. A powerful story of a community’s battle against the voices and gestures of hate, of a quiet village and its once turbulent history. Both a universal and personal tale of a quest through which a man and his father rediscover their pasts.
64 MIN / ENGLISH
Director — Eli Adler, Blair Gershkow