Raise the Roof

Raise the Roof

(Podnieść Dach)

Artists Rick and Laura Brown are not Jewish and not Polish, and yet they set out to rebuild Gwoździec, one of the magnificent 18th-century wooden synagogues of Poland, the last of which were destroyed by Nazis during World War II. Their vision inspires hundreds of people to join them. To paint the intricate ceiling murals, the Browns face a challenge: the 1914 photographs of Gwoździec are black and white and there is only one, partial color study. Using that as their Rosetta Stone, the Browns slowly build a library of Gwoździec’s colors. Armed with pigments and stacks of wooden boards, the team sets up to paint the ceiling mural in what seems to be an art gallery in Rzeszów, Poland. Many questions about the synagogue were left unanswered:
· What sparked this period of profuse and energetic construction and painting?
· Why were the Jews of this time willing to break the Second Commandment prohibition against graven images in decorating this building?
· What cultural and artistic movements inspired artists to create these resplendent spaces?
Raise the Roof takes us on this journey of discovery.

Director: Yari Wolinsky

Screenplay: Yari Wolinsky

Cinematography: Yari Wolinsky, Dan D’amore, Tadeusz Kieniewicz

Film Editor: Yari Wolinsky

Runtime: 85 minutes minutes

Release Year: 2016

Genre: Drama

Playing at

SIFF Cinema Uptown