Penn State Hillel plans screening of professor's post-Holocaust film

April 02, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Hillel will screen assistant professor Boaz Dvir’s critically acclaimed post-Holocaust documentary, “A Wing and A Prayer,” at 7 p.m. April 10 in 262 Willard Building at University Park.

The event, which is free and open to the public, includes a dialogue with the award-winning filmmaker, whose other credits include “Jessie’s Dad” and “Discovering Gloria.”

“It’s always a joy to engage with Penn State students and faculty about the topics raised in this film,” said Dvir, who teaches writing and production in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications.

Narrated by actor William Baldwin ("The Purge," "Squid and the Whale") and co-produced by Steve Whitney (“Amityville Horror,” “Haunting in Connecticut”), "A Wing and a Prayer" tells the story of World War II aviators who risked their lives and freedom in 1948 to prevent what they viewed as an imminent second Holocaust.

“[The film] tells the story of how a few idealists effected change despite great obstacles,” wrote The Miami Herald’s Ana Veciana-Suarez.

Named Best Documentary at the 2016 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, “A Wing and a Prayer” has screened in prestigious venues around the world, including the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan, and the Library Film Festival in Jaipur, India.

The film, which aired on PBS stations around the country in 2015-17, features firsthand accounts of daring escapes and heart-pounding action. Dvir secured exclusive interviews with the operation’s leaders, including mastermind Al Schwimmer, chief pilot Sam Lewis, and Christian crew leader Eddie Styrak. Their tell-all interviews provide rich detail about a group of Jews and Christians who, driven mostly by the plight of Holocaust survivors, helped reshape history, yet have been largely forgotten by history books. 

“Boaz Dvir succeeds in bringing an obscure but signal period of history out of the shadows,” wrote 20th Century Aviation Magazine’s J.R. Hafer.

Last Updated June 02, 2021