Ella is not your average 98-year-old. Her magnetic personality makes her past even more surprising. “I Am Here” follows this spirited South African Holocaust survivor as she reveals her astonishing journey and unwavering appreciation of life. The documentary contrast’s Ella’s vibrant day-to-day present with stories of her past surviving the Holocaust. These memories are depicted through dynamic animation, innovatively bringing her storytelling to life. Ella recalls bearing witness to losing her family, becoming a prisoner of three concentration camps, and narrowly escaping death in a gas chamber. However, she never lost the connection to the beautiful moments and people who changed her life forever. As tragic as her experiences have been, Ella triumphantly cherishes each moment and lives life with joy. “I Am Here” won the Audience Choice Award and the Jury Award for Best Documentary at the 2021 Durban International Film Festival.
Violet Du Feng & Amanda Pope
The film brings together two World War II-era stories of resilience and survival: one from Nanjing, where Japanese soldiers massacred Chinese civilians, and the other from Germany, where the Nazi regime sought the systematic murder of Jewish populations in Europe and beyond.