A wartime story of the Jewish artists who struggle with the only weapons available to them: music, theater and film. They defend themselves from Nazi repression with humor, cabaret, shows, skits, performances, songs, and concerts organized in concentration camps and ghettos all around Europe. They fight for their lives, but most importantly – as they highlight – they fight for their souls and for their dignity. In a series of staged episodes which are true reconstructions of the facts we can observe how music and sketches become weapons in the battle of life. We show how subtle humor and mockery function – clear for the victims and incomprehensible to the guards and executioners. “I was playing for my life” – says one of the protagonists of the film, summarizing in this sentence the essence of what he was doing in front of the commandant of the concentration camp. “I played for those who were shooting and for those who were shot...”
The symbolic guide through the world of comedians, actors, musicians, and filmmakers, full of paradoxes and improbable events, is the legendary figure of the Warsaw Ghetto – street clown Rubinstein. In the film we get to the Warsaw Ghetto, camps in Kurowice, Jaktorów, Buchenwald, Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, Ravensbruck... The commentators of the events are contemporary artists and writers who explore “art beyond barbed wire” and the last living participants and witnesses of the events.
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