"In his new documentary, Jewish filmmaker Tony Gerber explores the rags-to-riches-to-prison story of the notorious Viktor Bout. It’s ironic that a film about a Russian oligarch would bring me closer to my Jewish ancestors
My mother and father were the first generation in their respective families to be born and raised in the States. My father’s family were Jews who came from Germany and Lithuania in the 1920s. My mother’s family on both sides came from Romania in the 1920s.
I had the great opportunity to screen “The Notorious Mr. Bout” in Bucharest, Romania this past year and used the opportunity to travel to my mother’s ancestral village in Moinesti. There had been a thriving Jewish community at the turn of last century that dwindled to none after World War II. The Jewish cemetery there is up-kept by one family — the survivors of the last surviving Jewish resident — and a small team of Romanian volunteers.
My visit was sad but also deeply poignant. It brought me closer to my ancestors and their legacy of discrimination."