Resistance – They Fought Back – Director Paula S. Apsell

RESISTANCE – THEY FOUGHT BACK, from award-winning filmmakers Paula S. Apsell and Kirk Wolfinger’s, is a passionate refutation of one of our collective misunderstandings of the Holocaust, one which holds that Jews went to their deaths passively, “as sheep to the slaughter.”  RESISTANCE – THEY FOUGHT BACK, instead focuses on Jewish communities and individuals throughout Eastern Europe who bravely rose up in resistance against the all-powerful Nazi war machine. The film also features narration from actors Corey Stoll, Dianna Agron and Maggie Siff, among many other recognizable names in the entertainment industry. Winning awards at the 2023 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, 2023 LA Indies, and the 2023 Toronto Documentary Feature & Short Film Festival, RESISTANCE – THEY FOUGHT BACK provides a much-needed corrective to the myth of Jewish passivity during the  Holocaust. There were uprisings in ghettos large and small, rebellions in death camps, and thousands of Jews fought Nazis in the forests. Everywhere in Eastern Europe, Jews waged campaigns of non-violent resistance, standing up against Nazi brutality by feeding the hungry, caring for orphans, recording German war crimes, and maintaining a high level of cultural activities and spiritual observance. Director Paula S. Apsell joins us for a conversation on the inspiration for taking on the mythology of Jewish acquiescence to the horror of Nazi brutality, finding the right people to tell the story and how does their righting of history bear on the politics of today.


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About the filmmaker – PAULA S. APSELL created the feature documentary Resistance — They Fought Back with the goal of correcting the myth of Jewish passivity during the Holocaust. Before that, she spent 35 years as the senior executive producer of the PBS NOVA science series, responsible for more than 650 documentaries in the sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine, which won every major broadcasting award including the Emmy; the Peabody; the duPont-Columbia University Gold and Silver Batons; and an Academy Award® nomination for Special Effects. She has been recognized with numerous individual awards, including the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Emmy of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Now CEO of Leading Edge Productions, Inc., a 501(c)(3) public charity, she directed, wrote and executive producer Resistance — They Fought Back

About the filmmaker – KIRK WOLFINGER directed Resistance — They Fought Back, traveling to Poland, Lithuania, and Israel to establish a unique visual approach to tell the important story of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust.  He is an Emmy and Peabody Award winning filmmaker and President of Lone Wolf Media, production partner for the feature-length documentary film. Lone Wolf is widely known as a leader in factual entertainment and is responsible for many award-winning nationally broadcast documentaries on PBS as well as the National Geographic, History and Smithsonian Channels, and more than 25 documentaries for the science series NOVA alone. Kirk’s forte is adventure, science, and historical programming. Among the many NOVA episodes he produced and directed is Holocaust Escape Tunnel, which tells the story of a landmark archeological discovery of a tunnel that Jewish prisoners used to escape their Nazi and Lithuanian captors. 



100% on RottenTomatoes

“Resistance: They Fought Back is a vital documentary for anyone wanting a deeper understanding about the courage and the necessity of resistance by Jewish people and allies during the Holocaust. The movie combines history with personal testimonials.” – Carla Hay, Culture Mix

“A vital, eye-opening and engrossing documentary” – Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru

“Successful in the way it shares the stories and shows the remnants of so many inspirational heroes.” – Christopher Campbell, Nonfics

“A vital, eye-opening and engrossing documentary” – Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru

“People have this myth stuck in their heads that Jews went to their deaths like sheep to the slaughter. But this is where the real story begins…Jews did not go as sheep to the slaughter… They fought back.” – Professor Richard Freund

“Presents a well-made overview of acts of Jewish resistance against the Nazis during the Holocaust in Eastern Europe, emphasizing insight that stereotyped images of Jews going to their deaths “like sheep to slaughter” were from Third Reich propaganda.” – Nora Lee Mandel, Maven’s Nest