This extraordinary testament to survival from Emmy-winning producer/director Janet Tobias brings to light a story that remained untold for decades: that of thirty-eight Ukrainian Jews who survived World War II by living in caves for eighteen months.
The story is extraordinary, as director Janet Tobias filmed many hours of compelling interview footage from four of the survivors – Saul Stermer, Sam Stermer, Sonia Dodyk, and Sima Dodyk. Cave explorer Chris Nicola discovered articles left behind in these caves, and after 9 years of searching, eventually connected with the families, leading to the story and the making of the film. The film’s reenactments are very artful and cinematic, which made it a clear choice to use a live orchestra for the score.
Of course like all film composers I had help from a lot of people, not the least of which was the direction from Janet Tobias. On the music side, Jeff Tinsley orchestrated, Tim Davies conducted, Steve Juliani did the copy work, Robert Fernandez engineered and mixed, and I was just over the moon with the solo performances by Belinda Broughton on violin, James Thatcher on horn, and Alan Steinberger on piano. You can hear a sample of their work over on my SoundCloud page. And here’s one cue from the score: