Sun, Jan 23

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MNJGS event on Zoom

Mamaliga Blues

MNJGS presents a discussion with filmmaker Cassio Tolpolar on his film, Mamaliga Blues, about a family’s return to its roots in Moldova and the search for relatives who disappeared during the Holocaust.

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Mamaliga Blues

Time & Location

Jan 23, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM CST

MNJGS event on Zoom

About The Event

The Minnesota Jewish Genealogical Society is pleased to present Exploring Ancestral Towns: A Discussion of the film Mamaliga Blues, about returning to one’s ancestral town. On January 23 from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM Central Time, we will host Cassio Tolpolar, producer of a film on the exploration of his family history in Moldova. The film, Mamaliga Blues, available for viewing prior to the talk, involves the search for a tombstone in an old family photo as they encounter the impact of the Holocaust on their family. The film is approximately one hour, and you can view it prior to the discussion on Vimeo at  https://vimeo.com/76558085.

In 1931, Abram Tolpolar and his wife Rachel emigrated from Moldova to southern Brazil. Seventy-seven years later, their only child, Mauro Tolpolar, makes the trip back to his parents' birthplace and also finds clues to an unrevealed past. Having as a starting point only one remaining photograph of a lost grave, the Tolpolars drive through ancient villages, walk in the bushes of abandoned cemeteries, and meet locals, looking for what happened to their relatives who disappeared during the Holocaust. The search reveals the fragility of Moldova's memory, and how its Jewish past is vanishing.

Cassio Tolpolar was born in the south of Brazil. Cassio’s debut as a Director and Writer, the short Venus, was screened in a number of film festivals around the world and won several awards, including Best Director and Best Cinematography. It led him to direct for television and, ultimately, to move to the US and complete the MFA in Film at the San Francisco Art Institute. Upon his arrival in the US, he worked in a number of TV shows and documentaries. After 11 years in Los Angeles, Cassio returned to Brazil to promote his documentary, Mamaliga Blues, which was screened in Brazil, the US and Europe. In Brazil, Cassio worked for Sony Entertainment, finished a documentary about the first Jewish colony in Brazil, A Trip to Philippson. Currently he is preparing a short documentary about the Culture Club, a Jewish center for culture established in the 1950's in Brazil.

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