RAISE THE ROOF / A FILM ABOUT AN IMPROBABLE DREAM
"Raise the Roof crosses the limits of religion to show selfless compassion." –Margot Carvallo, Neighbor Newspapers, Atlanta
THEY SET OUT TO RECONSTRUCT A LOST SYNAGOGUE. THEY RECOVERED A LOST WORLD.
Rivaling the greatest wooden architecture in history, the synagogues of 18th-century Poland inspired artists Rick and Laura Brown of Handshouse Studio to embark on a 10-year pursuit—to reconstruct the elaborate roof and painted ceiling of the Gwozdziec synagogue. Leading over 300 students and professionals from 16 countries, the Browns grapple not just with the echoes of World War II when these buildings were destroyed by the Nazis, but also with warped timbers, tricky paints, and period hand tools. By the end of the project, they have done more than reconstruct a lost synagogue: they have recovered a lost world. In 2014, the Gwozdziec roof was unveiled as the centerpiece of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.
“All of a sudden, the image of Polish Jews known only from black and white photographs, too often an image of poverty, piety, and persecution, recedes and a vibrant world in living color, a world rich in imagination and spirit, takes its place.” –Barbara Kishenblatt-Gimblett