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.