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        Shalom Italia | Lesson Plan Clips

        Place is inextricably linked to identity and memory; that is part of what makes memories so fascinating and complex. Physical places shape our thoughts, feelings and relationships, and from these places stories are recalled and personal historical narratives are constructed.

        This lesson helps students gain a deeper understanding of how historical narratives develop by exploring the relationship between place, memory and identity. Students will examine the faultiness and malleability of memory by viewing selections from director Tamar Tal Anati’s documentary film Shalom Italia. The film follows three elderly brothers—Bubi, Andrea and Emmanuel—Holocaust survivors from Italy, as they return to the Tuscan countryside to search for the cave where their family hid from the Nazis 70 years earlier. The film and the lesson invite students to reflect upon and discuss the critical role that place plays in creating life stories.

        Check out POV's film page for Shalom Italia.

        Clip 1: "Salty Sardines"

        The brothers are driving in Tuscany and remembering their experience in the cave. Emmanuel, the eldest, shares a memory of being hungry, of running out of food and having only sardines to eat. The story of the sardines leads Bubi to realize why he can't stand sardines as an adult.

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        Clip 2: "Memories of Home"

        The brothers return to see their childhood home in Campoli. They share memories of their father planting four cypress trees—one for each of his sons—in the garden. They also recall the night of their escape. They walk around the grounds and each quietly experience their childhood memories.

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        Clip 3: "Truth or Legend"

        The three brothers eat a meal together and recall how they procured food while in hiding in the cave. Bubi retells a version of the story that is different from Emmanuel’s memory. The brothers explore whether absolute truth is relevant to history and the role of stories and legend.

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        Clip 4: "Place and Identity"

        This clip is the opening scene of the film. We meet each brother as an older man and hear in his own words his memory of the Holocaust and the cave and his reasons for returning to Italy some 70 years later to retrace the steps of survival during World War II.

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