The portraits being chased are those of Polish Holocaust victim Moshe Rynecki who painted approximately 800 images of Jewish life in Poland.
The chaser is his great granddaughter Elizabeth Rynecki who has the largest collection of Rynecki’s work in the world, and is the producer/director/narrator of Chasing Portraits.
Three million Jews lived in Poland before the Holocaust, 300,000 survived. Three of those 300,000 were Elizabeth’s grandfather and parents who immigrated to the United States.
Elizabeth choose to go on a quest for her family’s story and its legacy, and a search for Moshe’s lost art wherever it may be. The overt inciting incident for her odyssey was the discovery of a few lost images from the artist—and the legal inability to even display them on her great grandfather’s memorial website. Her searches took Elizabeth through Poland and Israel.
A search for history, for heritage, a connection with a family’s past, and for personal closure, Chasing Portraits is equally sad and endearing.
(Pictured: Elizabeth Rynecki)