Lives Restarted Goes Global In 9 Languages as Ukrainian Invasion Sparks Massive Refugee Crisis

·3 min read

Lives Restarted

Lives Restarted
Lives Restarted

Holocaust Survivors Share Their Powerful Stories of Courage and Resilience in Documentary Film Via YouTube and Amazon Prime

MEMPHIS, TN, May 24, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via NewMediaWire – As the invasion of Ukraine triggers one of the biggest refugee crises of modern times, Lives Restarted documents the perseverance of a previous generation of war refugees for viewers world-wide and in nine languages.

Lives Restarted features Holocaust survivors who share their compelling stories of survival as World War II refugees and their journeys to new lives in America. The 38-minute documentary is newly released this month for audiences worldwide via YouTube at It is available with subtitles in Arabic, English, French, German, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and Ukrainian.

About one-third of Ukraine’s pre-war population – nearly 14 million of 44 million people – have been forced to leave their homes since Russian forces invaded their country earlier this year, according to United Nations estimates. That includes more than six million who have fled Ukraine and taken refuge in Poland, Romania, Hungary, and other countries.

The film explores the topic of bigotry, offering warnings in the first-hand accounts of witnesses to the atrocities of war. And it foreshadows how easily societies can descend into chaos when individuals fail to confront hatred and bigotry. According to Holocaust survivor Friderica Saharovici: “The key thing is people should get involved and fight bigotry where they see it because otherwise it could happen again … We can see it creeping all over the world. So, the most important thing is we need to be vigilant and not let it happen here.”

Lives Restarted director Waheed AlQawasmi explores the refugee experience from a different perspective in a major new independent film, Jacir, which stars Academy Award nominee Lorraine Brocco and Lebanese newcomer Malek Rahbani. The film explores the topic of racism, poverty, and social responsibility. AlQawasmi produced, wrote and directed the dual language Arabic/English film Jacir, which is scheduled to debut on the festival circuit in the fall 2022.

“With so many Ukrainian families displaced under attacks and threats of death, we wanted to share Lives Restarted with them,” explained AlQawasmi, who is Jordanian-American. “We also want to share the film with a broader audience in hopes these stories of resilience from WWII refugees will resonate and provide encouragement in the current times and show that there is still hope and a path forward.”

“I’m not a spring chicken. Let’s face it, I’ve got a lot of miles on me,’ survivor Sam Weireich tells Lives Restarted viewers. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to live in peace and there will be no more wars.”

Lives Restarted was shown at festivals throughout 2016 to 2018 and was released in English in the U.S. via Amazon Prime in 2019.

The film results from a collaboration between AlQawasmi, who leads WAFilms, a creative content production company, and Jerry Ehrlich, who heads The Brand Squad, a branding agency. Over the past decade, both together and separately, Ehrlich and AlQawasmi have created content which has earned National Emmy, Telly and Communicator Video/Film Awards, among others. Both companies operate from Memphis, Tennessee.

“My mother’s intense drive to survive and the stories of other Holocaust survivors we interviewed compel us to keep their message alive,” said Ehrlich. “We cannot forget this history and cannot overlook the plight of today’s refugees.”

Bob Hetherington
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