“What haunts are not the dead but the gaps left within us by the secrets of others”
Thanks to Orion Publishing, we recently got the chance to make a trailer for the new book by Philippe Sands, East West Street, The Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity. This book is a fascinating personal journey into the painful history of Sands’ Polish Jewish family during the WWII. Sands also delves headlong into the stories of the prominent Nazi leaders that had a hand in the fate both his family and the millions of other Jews from Nazi occupied Poland and Austria. Perhaps most importantly, the book uncovers the origins of the words “genocide” and “crimes against humanity”.
As there are so many story threads within this extraordinary book, it was tricky deciding which story to focus the trailer on – to bring out the essence of the book in just one minute. We decided to focus on the Nuremberg trials, the point in the book where all the stories collide and the first time in history where these new terms became punishable crimes. After searching London high and low for a court that would evoke the feeling of the famous Nuremberg Courtroom, we came across the wonderfully dilapidated Bristol Old Crown Courts. Our production designer Juana Fernandez did a spectacular job of covering the space with layers of dust to reference the passing of 70 years since the trials and to recreate Sands’ recurrent theme of elusive memory. The last shot of a room full of paper was inspired by a spectacular photograph of a courtroom at Nuremberg, a day after the trials.
Watch the trailer here.
Read an excerpt from the book here.