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Arts & Culture

JEWISH FILM SHOWCASE: Ahead Of Time: The Extraordinary Journey Of Ruth Gruber

Ruth Gruber in her New York City apartment in "Ahead Of Time: The Extraordinary Journey Of Ruth Gruber."
Courtesy of Reel Inheritance Films
Ruth Gruber in her New York City apartment in "Ahead Of Time: The Extraordinary Journey Of Ruth Gruber."

Airs Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

The JEWISH FILM SHOWCASE offers an exciting slate of new feature documentary films telling vibrant stories from around the world.

Curated and presented as a mini film festival, by The National Center for Jewish Film, the showcase presents three award-winning films, each exploring a dynamic story rich in history, art, and culture.

Paraphrasing one of this year's protagonists, "these films reach deep into history and bring something back."

Ahead Of Time: Trailer

For seven decades foreign correspondent and photojournalist Ruth Gruber didn’t just report the news, she made it.

Born in 1911 to Russian Jewish immigrants, Ruth Gruber became the youngest Ph.D. in the world before becoming an international journalist at age 24.

A fearless trailblazer who defied tradition to become the eyes and conscience of the world, she was the first journalist to enter the Soviet Arctic in 1935.

“I am experiencing that feeling of zest which goes with exploration. I am in the thick of an historic moment. I am in an era in the making…” - First lines of Ruth Gruber’s initial dispatch from the Soviet Arctic, 1935

Ruth Gruber in the Soviet Arctic in 1935 in "Ahead Of Time: The Extraordinary Journey Of Ruth Gruber."
Courtesy of Reel Inheritance Films
Ruth Gruber in the Soviet Arctic in 1935 in "Ahead Of Time: The Extraordinary Journey Of Ruth Gruber."

Gruber traveled to Alaska as a member of the Roosevelt administration in 1942; escorted Holocaust refugees to America in 1944; covered the Nuremberg trials in 1946; and documented the Palestine-bound Haganah ship Exodus in 1947.

Her relationships with world leaders, including Eleanor Roosevelt, President Harry Truman, and Israel's Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, gave her unique access and insight into modern history.

Winner of five Best Documentary film festivals awards, the film was broadcast on Showtime, and participated in Project 20/20 sponsored by the President’s Council for the Arts and Humanities.

Ruth Gruber and her leica camera in "Ahead Of Time: The Extraordinary Journey Of Ruth Gruber."
Courtesy of Reel Inheritance Films
Ruth Gruber and her leica camera in "Ahead Of Time: The Extraordinary Journey Of Ruth Gruber."

The first film of the series, “Carvalho's Journey," aired December 5, and "Raise The Roof" aired Dec. 12.

REVIEWS:

"Ruth Gruber is remarkable...indefatigable...a riveting raconteur... an inspiration.” –-New York Times

You could not invent Ruth Gruber... not even in a movie.” –-Richard Holbrooke, Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan

CREDITS:

Director is Bob Richman. Produced by Zeva Oelbaum. Editor: Sabine Krayenbuehl.