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Chasing Portraits
A documentary by Elizabeth Rynecki

78 minutes, color, 2018

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Moshe Rynecki (1881-1943) was a prolific Warsaw-based artist who painted scenes of the Polish-Jewish community until he was murdered at Majdanek concentration camp. After the Holocaust, Moshe's wife was only able to recover a small fraction of his work, but unbeknownst to the family, many other pieces survived. For more than a decade his great-granddaughter Elizabeth has searched for the missing art, with remarkable and unexpected success.

Spanning three generations, Chasing Portraits is a deeply moving narrative of the richness of one man's art, the devastation of war, and one woman's unexpected path to healing. Chasing Portraits was an official selection to both the San Francisco and New York Jewish Film Festivals, and has played at festivals worldwide.

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"Magical...Highly recommended! This moving portrait of one woman's effort to connect with her family history and particularly with a man she never knew had me tearing up." - Steve Kopian, UNSEEN FILMS

"'Chasing Portraits' is about a search. Yet the most affecting parts of this documentary come with the realization that some things may never be found."- Ken Jaworowski, THE NEW YORK TIMES

"Part 'Woman in Gold' and part family home movie, with shades of 'Everything Is Illuminated' and 'Antiques Roadshow.' Both funnier and deeper than even its compelling premise suggests." - Shana Nys Dambrot, LA WEEKLY

"I felt a strong connection to the director's desire to bond with her ancestors through art. So much of what I know about who I am was passed down to me through stories I grew up hearing. Those stories, passed from generation to generation, gave me a feel for the traumatic and often joyful lives of those who came before me." - Odie Henderson, ROGEREBERT.com

"Rynecki has created a beautiful portrait of loss and growth and in doing so has brought the gift of Moshe Rynecki's art to a new, thankful audience." - Dylan Brennan, NONFICS


Film website



Educational Inquiries

Book: Chasing Portraits: A Great-Granddaughter's Quest for her Lost Art Legacy

Audiobook: Chasing Portraits: A Great-Granddaughter's Quest for her Lost Art Legacy

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