Out of Faith
This feature-length documentary follows three generations of a family torn apart by conflicts over interfaith marriage. The family's matriarch, Leah Welbel, and her husband Eliezer, both survived nearly three years in Auschwitz; however, in their minds, their grandchildren marrying non-Jews represents a posthumous victory for Hitler.
OUT OF FAITH was part of IFP FILM MARKET, and many Jewish film festivals all over the world including Lincoln Square, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC, and Atlanta.
Directed by Lisa Leeman
Produced by L. Mark DeAngelis
Edited by Laura Murray
Original Score by Miriam Cutler
National Broadcast Premier April 2009 on PBS
Screened at LA Jewish Film Festival, Palm Beach Internal Film Festival, and Jewish Film Festivals all over the the country
Presented at IFP Film Market
From OUT OF FAITH'S Chicago Premiere: Pioneer Press, Sun Times News Group;
Review appeared in approximately 50 local newspapers (
April 3, 2008)
* * * ½ The last thing you’re likely to expect from a documentary on interfaith marriage is a profoundly moving experience, but “OUT OF FAITH” delivers just that. Ostensibly the story of how marriage outside of the faith places stress on three generations of a North Shore-area Jewish family, “OUT OF FAITH” gradually becomes a portrait of the Welbel family’s iron-willed matriarch Leah, whose survival of Auschwitz and Birkenau makes her strong , but defines her for the rest of her life. When one of her grandchildren marries a Christian girl, Leah turns her back on him, creating a rift in the family. When a granddaughter does the same, she disapproves, but keeps the lines of communication open, hoping for a conversion. “If I let this happen, I feel like I’m betraying my family,” Leah says, thinking of the brothers, sisters, parents and cousins who were killed in the same camps she survived. “OUT OF FAITH” succeeds because it allows us to see precisely why Leah feels the way she does—personal memories arising from a return to Auschwitz and Birkenau are devastating—and to understand how, for her, there can be no other way." ~ Bruce Ingram, Chicago Tribune
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