The Walnut Tree

A film by Elida Schogt

2000 | 11 minutes | Color | 16mm/DVD | Order No. 01722

Available only as part of Elida Schogt Trilogy.


Through a striking combination of documentary and experimental approaches, THE WALNUT TREE examines Holocaust memory, the family, and the role of photography in history. As its point of departure, the film shows three girls in Dutch costumes posing for their father's camera. This sweet but fleeting moment, made static in a snapshot, is contrasted with live-action images of railway tracks--tracks that carried the death transports--now blurred by the passage of time. Fragments of an interrupted childhood emerge in the matter-of-fact narration by the filmmaker's mother, recounting the fate of the family's photo album, her parents' walnut tree, and her final memories of her mother and father in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. A follow-up to her award-winning ZYKLON PORTRAIT, Elida Schogt's latest film is an eloquent mediation on survival and the stories called forth from within and beyond the frame.


“Elida Schogt brings craft back to the art of filmmaking; this non-sentimental film on family history and the Holocaust achieves more in 11 minutes than many six-hour epics on similar topics. The director makes every frame count.”

Elaine Charnov Margaret Mead Film Festival

“Schogt returns to the well of her family's experience of the Holocaust, and finds elegant, elegiac use both for archive images and for the moments that were never captured.

Cameron Bailey NOW Magazine


  • Toronto Festival of Festivals
  • Margaret Mead Film Festival
  • WYBE Through the Lens Series


Elida Schogt

Elida Schogt is a Toronto-based filmmaker and media artist whose work mines personal experience, challenges story-telling conventions and questions power systems.

Best known for her innovative visual treatment of the collapse of representation in Zyklon Portrait, her internationally-acclaimed short documentary on Holocaust memory, her films have screened at festivals around the world.

She holds an MA in Media Studies from the New School for Social Research, New York and a practice-based PhD in Visual Arts from York University, Toronto. She is currently working on a memoir. (07/19)


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