The Jewish Film Showcase's Ahead of Time: The Extraordinary Journey of Ruth Gruber

The Jewish Film Showcase's Ahead of Time: The Extraordinary Journey of Ruth Gruber

Tue, 03/20/2018 - 9:30pm - 11:00pm

Ruth Gruber

Photo credit: Reel Inheritance Films

An intimate portrait of Ruth Gruber, whose career as a foreign correspondent and photojournalist spanned nearly a century. 

Born in Brooklyn in 1911 to Russian Jewish immigrants, Gruber defied tradition from the beginning, becoming the world’s youngest PhD at age 20. In a trailblazing career that included authoring 19 books, Gruber reported from the Soviet Arctic, escorted Holocaust refugees on a secret war-time mission, and changed the world with dispatches from the Palestine-bound ship Exodus in 1947. Ahead of Time: The Extraordinary Journey of Ruth Gruber airs on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at 9:30 p.m. on WXXI-TV.

As a student in Germany in 1931, she attended a Hitler rally observing first-hand the rising tide of Nazism. Ruth became a foreign correspondent and photojournalist at age 24. A feminist before feminism, Ruth was the first journalist to enter the Soviet Arctic in 1935. She traveled to Alaska as a member of the Roosevelt administration in 1941, where she was the first civilian on the Alaska Highway.

Ruth’s unique perspective of the events surrounding WWII is a result of her involvement in many of those historical moments. She was chosen by the Roosevelt administration to escort 1,000 Holocaust refugees from Naples to New York in a secret wartime mission in 1944. As a journalist, she accompanied leaders to the Middle East where they studied the problems of displaced persons and Palestine. Ruth covered the Nuremberg trials in 1946 and her photos of the ship Exodus 1947 were published in Life Magazine and around the world. With her love of adventure, fearless- ness and powerful intellect, Ruth defied tradition and in the process, emerged as the eyes and conscience of the world. Today, Ruth still has the moxie and sharp wit that propelled her career, and the film interweaves vérité footage with interviews and archival material.

This film is part of the Jewish Film Showcase, which offers an exciting slate of new feature documentary films telling vibrant stories from around the world. Curated and presented as a mini film festival, by The National Center for Jewish Film, the showcase presents three award-winning films, each exploring a dynamic story rich in history, art, and culture.