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Samuel Bak: Painter of Questions


48 minutes
Source: National Center for Jewish Film

On the occasion of a retrospective exhibit of his work, painter Samuel Bak returned to his hometown of Vilna. There he walked through the streets of the Vilna Ghetto, where he was interned with his parents during the Holocaust, and visited the nearby forest where his father and grandfather were murdered. This documentary explores Bak's work and life through the lens of his childhood experiences.

Online exhibit:
Illuminations: The Art of Samuel Bak

Related materials:
Samuel Bak Poster Set

Related lessons:
Interpreting the Works of Samuel Bak: Interruption
Interpreting the Works of Samuel Bak: Self-Portrait

Related Content


Samuel Bak: The Art of Speaking about the Unspeakable

This film explores Samuel Bak’s life and the experiences that helped shape his art.


Illuminations: The Art of Samuel Bak

Samuel Bak explains his life growing up in Vilna, and explores his art as it relates to Facing History


Interview Testimony by Jack Arnel

Holocaust survivor Jack Arnel describes the German invasion of his hometown of Vilna, Lithuania. Credit: USC Shoah Foundation


Read and Reflect: News and Rumors in Ilya Gerber’s Diary

Through a close reading of diary entries, students learn about the spread of misinformation among Jews during the Holocaust caused by the Nazis’ control of information.

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