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THE WILD ONE illuminates the journey of unsung artist Jack Garfein (1930-2019) – Holocaust survivor, celebrated Broadway director, Actors Studio West co-founder, and controversial filmmaker. The film examines how his experience in Nazi concentration camps shaped his vision of acting as a survival mechanism and propelled his engagement with themes of violence, power, and racism in postwar America in two explosive films: THE STRANGE ONE (1957) and SOMETHING WILD (1961).
THE WILD ONE explores the importance of his legacy as an artist who confronted censorship and reveals how art can draw on personal memory to better enlighten our present.

Image above: Photo of Jack Garfein. Courtesy of Petite Maison Production


STREAMING LINK (valid through Sunday, June 9)

THE WILD ONE is produced by Louise-Salomé and Chantal Perrin for Petite Maison Production. It is written by Louise-Salomé and Sarah Contou-Terquem, in collaboration with Elizabeth Schub Kamir.

In a statement, Louise-Salomé said that “His films addressed critical issues: fascism, the military, the functioning of power and its perversity, the dangers of dogmatism, racial segregation, mental manipulation and rape. In other words, the many ways in which power, in whatever form it takes, seizes and appropriates the psychic reality of the individual. His preoccupation with freedom drives both the content of his cinema and his bold way of presenting it. His perception of what constitutes freedom is the secret dimension that animates his work.” (Leo Barraclough, Variety)

Watch the film’s French producer, Chantal Perrin, in conversation with Ori Z Soltes from Georgetown University in Washington DC about THE WILD ONE. Moderated by Rachel Stern, Executive Director of the Fritz Ascher Society.

Chantal Perrin is a French producer and director and has been the executive of Petite Maison Production since 2006, supporting filmmakers with a unique voice, as well as contemporary artists (Sophie Calle, Terence Koh, Cindy Sherman) on projects in a wide range of formats. In 1982, “Atelier Lalanne,” her first movie as a director about sculptors Claude and François Lalanne, won first prize at the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) in Paris. She then began working as a first assistant director and line producer on films with directors Terry Gilliam, Adrian Lyne, Jean-Paul Rappeneau, Claude Miller, Maurice Pialat, and Jean-Jacques Annaud, among others.
Since then, she has produced and directed many documentaries for the TV channels ARTE, CANAL+, and France Television and works regularly with various national and international broadcasters. She has focused her efforts on exploring important social issues (i.e. Illegal Love, Go Green Citizens (Au Vert Citoyens), Traditional African Medicine at Keur Massar, Lyme Disease: A Silent Epidemic) and on depicting the lives and legacies of artists (i.e. Pacific Bluesman, Sebastien Tellier: Many Lives, Mr. X: A Vision of Leos Carax, The People Under the Sea). Currently, she continues to work for French television on the documentary series Thalassa as a producer and author, while developing international co-productions and high-quality art films at Petite Maison Production, which have gone on to screen at Cannes, CPH:DOX, Sundance and numerous other international festivals.  More recently, Lady of the Gobi,  a documentary shot in Mongolia she wrote and produced, won the BFI Grierson award.

Ori Z Soltes, PhD, teaches at Georgetown University across the disciplines of theology, art history, philosophy and politics. He is the former Director and Curator of the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum where he curated some 80 exhibitions. He is the author of several hundred articles and catalogue essays, and the author or editor of 25 books, including The Ashen Rainbow: The Holocaust and the Arts; Symbols of Faith: How Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Art Draw from the Same Source; and Tradition and Transformation: Three Millennia of Jewish Art and Architecture.

Jack Garfein’s two films are available online:

SOMETHING WILD (1961) is on Criterion Collection in the US (LINK)

THE STRANGE ONE (1957) is on YouTube:

Both Jack Garfein (1930-2019) and his first wife, the actress Carroll Baker (b. 1931), published powerful books:

We thank Jewish Story Partners (JSP) and GOOD DOCS for making THE WILD ONE available. Together they are bringing high-quality films on diverse Jewish subjects to a wide range of audiences in educational settings.

This event is part of the online series “Flight or Fight. stories of artists under repression.”

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The Fritz Ascher Society is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization. Your donation is fully tax deductible.

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