Musician Paul Hoffert and I have long history. I always attribute the beginnings of my career as a solo artist to Paul and his gracious loving family. Those early sides for Capitol Records – Goodbye Superdad and Dixie Peach. A few radio hits.
Paul understood the difficulties facing immigrants and offered a helping hand. I have long admired his curiosity, intellect and vast knowledge of music in its totality. Lighthouse, Brenda Hoffert and the King family a travelling roadshow back in the day. More than a few times with me as the opening act. This brings us to today’s podcast and the Hoffert family film project.
With ten plus years in the making, The Rhapsody will be having its World Premiere at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival on Wednesday, June 15th, 7:30 pm, at The Hot Docs Cinema, 506 Bloor St. W.
At the age of ninety-eight, late composer Leo Spellman, a Polish Canadian Holocaust survivor, sets out on a journey toward artistic liberation. Filmmaker David Hoffert presents Spellman’s musical masterpiece composed in a German DP camp and lost for over fifty years. His secret wartime diary is revealed for the first time with excerpts read by actor Stephen Fry, and his family returns to the Polish town of Ostrowiec where he spent eighteen months hiding from the Nazis. This tale of survival is told through animation, interviews with family and colleagues, and powerful live concerts, including the performance of his composition at the Ashkenaz Festival in Toronto at which Spellman was present.
Director David Hoffert and Producers Brenda Hoffert, Paul Hoffert and Jeff Preyra.
Presented in partnership with The Ashkenaz Foundation.