How did our film “How Saba Kept Singing” come to be?
Let me introduce you to Director Sara Taksler:
Sara attended the New Jersey synagogue where my father was rabbi for many years. Our families knew each other well. We grew up together. I reconnected with Sara many years later in NYC where she had become a producer and filmmaker.
About five years ago, she came to the Upper East Side to see a program where my grandfather and I were commemorating the Holocaust by telling his story with music. Later that night, Sara approached me and asked if Saba’s story could be her next project. Though my grandfather had long held in the details of his past, he had more recently become comfortable sharing his story of survival publicly, and now, he was ready for the world to hear it.
We started filming some interviews with Sara in 2019, and then when we got invited to perform in Poland in January 2020, we invited Sara and her film crew to come along. That was the last trip we ever took, the last time my grandfather would sing in public.
This photo was taken on an emotional day during that trip in 2020 – right before my grandfather went to sing at the 75th Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony at Auschwitz – in a hotel room that is featured in a scene which bookends the film. I’m sure it’s after I brushed Saba’s hair, because he looks pretty good!
Sara, you have managed to capture not only my grandfather’s story with grace and dignity, but you also managed to capture his essence, his character, his humor, his voice, his connection to his family – and now he is immortalized in film forever and that is such a gift to all of us. There is no one I can imagine that our family would trust more with this project, and we love you.
You can now share and watch the entire documentary for free anytime on YouTube: How Saba Kept Singing
“Musician David “Saba” Wisnia believed that he survived the horrors of Auschwitz by entertaining the Nazi guards with his beautiful singing voice. Join David and his grandson Avi Wisnia as the pair embark on a journey exploring the mystery of Saba’s past and discover that someone unexpected may have had a hand in saving his life.” Directed by Sara Taksler, and produced by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton.