Chasing Portraits

This moving portrait of one woman's effort to connect with her family history and particularly with a man she never knew had me tearing up...magical.

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Chasing Portraits

Moshe Rynecki (1881-1943) was a prolific Warsaw-based artist who painted scenes of the Polish-Jewish community until he was murdered at Majdanek. After the Holocaust, Moshe’s wife was only able to recover a small fraction of his work, but unbeknownst to the family, many other pieces survived.

For more than a decade his great-granddaughter, Elizabeth Rynecki, has searched for the missing art, with remarkable and unexpected success. Spanning three generations,
Chasing Portraits is a deeply moving narrative of the richness of one man’s art, the devastation of war, and one woman’s unexpected path to healing.

Official Selection - San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 2018

Official Selection - New York Jewish Film Festival 2019

"Though she begins her travels with a desire to reclaim as much of Moshe’s work as possible, Elizabeth's encounters with museum curators and others who have lived with the paintings and sculptures give way to a heightened sense of importance...in addition to the tragic, miraculous history behind the pieces, Moshe’s depictions of the everyday lives of Polish Jews in the 1920's and 1930's serve as a window into a thriving community of 3 million that would later be nearly erased. By allowing us a similarly intimate seat next to Elizabeth on her journey, Chasing Portraits is an emotional trip for the viewer as well."- Andrew Shearer, Athens Banner-Herald

"This moving portrait of one woman's effort to connect with her family history and particularly with a man she never knew had me tearing up. The connections she made with her great grandfather across time and space was magical. Highly recommended." - Steve Kopian, Unseen Films
Genre
Art & Artists, Jewish Culture, Documentary, Women and Film
Runtime
78
Language
English
Director
Elizabeth Rynecki
FEATURED REVIEW
Andrew Wyatt, Cinema St. Louis

Undeniably potent. Rynecki thought her ancestor's artistic legacy to be somewhat obscure...when she eventually learns to her astonishment that not only do numerous other Moshe Rynecki paintings exist, but that they are held in high regard by museums and collectors, the filmmaker finds herself at a ...

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