Last week, the Chronicle asked its readers in an electronic poll the following question: “Have you seen the two documentaries about the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting?” Of the 207 people who responded, 54% said no; 26% said they had seen only “A Tree of Life: The Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting” (shown on HBO); 2% said they had seen only “Repairing the World: Stories from the Tree of Life” (shown at the JFilm festival last April); and 18% said they had seen both films. Comments were submitted by 37 people. A few follow.
This tragedy is much too close to my heart. Though I’d like to see these documentaries, even thinking about it brings on waves of sadness and feelings of ongoing trauma.
I would like to see them. It would be great if they’d become more readily available on additional screening services.
I live out of town and wasn’t aware of either of them. Now I may check them out.
The “Repairing the World” filmmakers took time to really understand and portray the many facets of Jewish Pittsburgh and life in Squirrel Hill. Very well done.
I have not seen the films, but the images of the massacre live in my mind. It is, of course, painful to envision what occurred within Tree of Life. My heart aches for the family and friends of the victims — and for all people who are targets of hatred.
No desire to live through it again.
I’ve seen both, and while they were both well-made documentaries, they are vastly different in their messages. And I appreciate neither one mentions the shooter or shows his picture, as the story is not about him. It’s about those who died, those who escaped, those that were injured and those that were rescued. Kudos to Patrice O’Neil and Trish Adlesic for their thoughtful compassion in making these movies.
I was in one of them prominently. (The other had only a split-second view of the corner of my head.) The best possible outcome would be for the films (and us along with them, using them as tools) to make a positive impact, to help effect positive change in our mutual understanding, both in the broader world and within our own communities.
Too painful and disturbing to watch. I met my future wife there in 1976 at a singles dance.
Someday I will — and I should — but living four houses from Ground Zero gave me enough familiarity with the traumatic and memorable events for now. PJC