Tibor Jankay: The Art of Survival

Tell-Tale Productions, 1997.
Directed by Harlan Steinberger

40 minutes


This charming film documents the life of a 94-year-old Hungarian born artist who used his artistic skills to survive the Holocaust. With a sculptor’s chisel he dug a hole in the bottom of a train bound for Auschwitz and escaped. As a fugitive in Poland he earned his food by drawing portraits of the farm families who admired his talents.

Although he suffered during the war years, when it was over, he was ready to start a new life in a new country. His irrepressible nature drew him towards Venice, California where he painted exuberant images of love and beauty. Among the threads running through Tibor’s life is his deep love for his wife with whom he was miraculously re-united after the war. Even as a widower, he found new friendships among young artists. In fact, he became a mentor to countless young artists, inspiring them with his incredible survival stories and philosophy of forgiveness.

Related Subjects:
Jewish Studies

Silver Apple, National Educational Film & Video Festival, 1996
National Media Owl Award, Retirement Research Foundation,1995
Outstanding Documentary, Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, 1995

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