Red crucible | Ira Altman

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Ira Altman

Red Crucible

Logline: A Jewish Communist evades the clutches of the invading Nazis only to be enslaved in the socialist "paradise" of Stalin's USSR. Synopsis: “Red Crucible” is a moving story of a young Jewish man in Eastern Europe whose life is thrown into turmoil during the turbulent years leading up to and encompassing the Second World War. The story highlights a conflicted world for the protagonist, a world that contains economic hardship, anti-Semitism, an unstable family life, and the inescapable cruelties of the times, that the protagonist seeks to survive and, ultimately, makes his way to America. This is a tale that holds promise for providing greater insights into life during these times. Through detailed dialogue and narrative passages, we are given a first-hand glimpse of the difficulties the protagonist faces from his very early years. Abandoned multiple times by his father, he is forced to make his own way. He is faced with haphazard care by family members whose own hardships make them provide for him, begrudgingly out of a sense of obligation. He suffers the harshness of life in an orphanage, and the brutality of confinement by authorities. Ultimately, his life makes a drastic turn as he is among those liberated by American forces at the end of the war. His hope surges and his faith in mankind appear to re-emerge as he sails into New York Harbor. The voice over dialogue that is provided by Hershl is lovely and poetic evoking an emotional response. It plays to some of the internal struggles, concerns, and conflicts of the character and the times. We hear from his own voice his struggles. Visuals such as Hershl’s “teeth chattering ” and frostbitten feet also tug at the emotional heart. Later visuals (page 75) such as: “Suddenly, clouds of mosquitoes attack. They run from spot to spot and look like black ghosts dancing in the gloomy night,” provide for haunting and eerie images. There is plenty of authentic history, rich with great detail. The passion of the story is heard. We have no doubt, here is a story that will prove to be touching and heartfelt for all. DTF Reader for Screenwriting Contest

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