My grandmother’s family is from Nasielsk. Her cousin is in this film; his name was Jankiel Piekarek. You can see him here, poking his face out from behind Morry, the interviewee who grew up in the town. Or at least, we’re pretty sure it’s him. Morry identified him, but he wasn’t mentioned in the film since, unfortunately, the only photos we have of him at that age are poor quality, and thus there is no way to verify beyond Morry’s…
I watched this with my grandfather. His father (and my great grandfather) was born in 1901 in Chernighiv, a small city in Ukraine (which was then part of Russia). He was studying in Kiev when the Russian Revolution broke out, and the events of his early life closely mirrored those in the movie. He lived to be 105, and I remember the stories he told me of life during the revolution very clearly, even as a little girl.
It was very moving to be able to watch this and have my great-grandfather’s stories brought to life.