Appropriately for the week of
REFUSENIK is the first documentary to chronicle the thirty-year movement to free Soviet Jews. The film is the project of the remarkable Laura Bialis, currently living in Sderot where she is filming a documentary of the city on the frontline of Islamic fascism.
REFUSENIK is a tapestry of first-person accounts of heroism, sacrifice, and ultimately liberation, told through the eyes of activists on both sides of the Iron Curtain.
The campaign to free Soviet Jewry is a major event in Jewish history. By 1992, one and a half million Jews had left the Soviet Union to live in freedom as a direct result of what was likely the most successful human rights campaign of all times.
One of the proudest chapters in Jewish history, the story of the refuseniks demonstrates the need for Jewish solidarity, the importance of the State of
Much of the material used in REFUSENIK is unique and exclusive to this film. Interviews with key leaders in the movement are some of the first ever to be recorded. Many of the photographs and covert film footage -- some of it smuggled out of the
Bialis’ first film -- “TAK FOR ALT: Survival of a Human Spirit” (1999), the story of Holocaust survivor turned civil rights activist Judy Meisel -- was produced a couple years after Bialis graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in History (focusing on wartime and post-war Europe) and an M.F.A. in Production from the USC School of Cinema-Television. The film won the Anti-Defamation League’s Dore Schary Award, aired on PBS on Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2000, and was honored by the