The film tells the story of a Holocaust survivor who donates his violin to a Bronx schoolgirl


Documentary ‘Joe’s Violin’, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last year, has been nominated for a 2017 Academy Award in the Documentary (Short Subject) category.

The film details the friendship between a 93-year-old survivor of the Holocaust and a 14-year-old schoolgirl from the Bronx, brought together by a violin.

Polish musician Joseph Feingold was sent to a Siberian labour camp at the age of 17, surviving for six-and-a-half years, while both his mother and brother died. When waiting for resettlement in a displaced person’s camp in Germany in 1947, Feingold swapped a carton of cigarettes for a violin. He later became an architect in New York and continued to play the instrument. However, in recent years playing became more difficult, so he donated the violin to an instrument drive run by classical radio station WQXR in 2014.

On hearing Feingold’s story, filmmaker Kahane Cooperman followed the process of finding a suitable home for the instrument – which eventually found its way into the hands of Brianna Perez, a student at Bronx Global Learning Institute for Girls.

Watch the full documentary below:

Produced by Raphaela Neihausen, Joe's Violin will compete against four other documentaries in the Short Subject category at the 89th Oscars on 26 February in Los Angeles.