View our accessibility package Skip to the Main Content

The World Was Ours (2007)


Directed by Mira Jedwabnik Van Doren, 60 minutes


Narrated by award-winning actor Mandy Patinkin, The World Was Ours chronicles the rich history of the Jewish community of Vilna before its destruction in WWII. The film focuses on the pre-war life of this vibrant culture, depicting its hopes, dreams, and remarkable achievements; a cultural atmosphere producing illustrious figures such as Chaim Soutine, Jacques Lipchitz, Jascha Heifetz, Nadia Reisenberg, Avram Sutzkever, Chaim Grade, Joseph Buloff and The Vilna Troupe, to name just a few. The community's dedication to culture and education was so strong that, during the Holocaust, its people risked their lives to save precious books and documents marked for destruction by the Nazis. Locked in the ghetto, fully aware of their imminent annihilation, they continued to present concerts, theatre and art exhibitions. This film tells their story.