The Upside Down Book

Hinda Mandell - Researcher, Editor and Producer
Hinda Mandell, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the department of communication at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She is the researcher, editor and producer of the documentary, “The Upside Down Book” (2013). The film won "Best Documentary" at the SNOB (Somewhere North of Boston) Film Festival in November 2013. That documentary is an outgrowth from two articles Mandell wrote for the Boston Globe in 2010. Mandell has published widely as an essayist, and her work has appeared in USA Today, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, the Jewish Daily Forward, on the Guardian.com and Politico. She is a former correspondent with the Boston Globe, covering the city’s Jewish community, and she is the past editor-in-chief of Boston’s Jewish Advocate, the largest newspaper of Jewish interest in New England. Mandell has reported from Berlin, Jerusalem, Beijing, Krakow and Dublin. She is a former McCloy Journalism Fellow with the American Council on Germany, and an Auschwitz Jewish Center Fellow with the Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.

Matthew White - Director, Photographer, and Editor
Matthew White is the founder of 4th Coast Productions. He is the director, photographer and editor of five films, including “The Upside Down Book” (2013), “Fort Drum: The First 100 Years” (2012), “Little Ditch: The Black River Canal” (2007), “Coming Home Alive” (2005) and “The Quest of Carmen D’Avino” (2000). His work has been televised nationally and on PBS stations throughout New York. “Coming Home Alive” won best human-interest documentary at the New York International Independent Film Festival in 2006. White has photographed and edited thousands of TV news stories for Time Warner Cable. His news footage has appeared on CNN, ESPN and the Weather Channel. White is also an avid still photographer, with photos published in USA Today, LA Times, (New Jersey) Star-Ledger and the Jewish Daily Forward.

Film Synopsis: Imagine a book that is so toxic that rigorous hand-washing is required after coming into contact with it. This book in question is a 1938 copy of Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler's political manifesto. Karen and Fred Mandell of Boston, parents of filmmaker Hinda Mandell, have displayed this book upside down on their bookshelf for decades. Fred Mandell's uncle – a Jewish-American soldier – brought home the book from Germany at the end of World War II. With a bare-bones inscription on the inside cover, the filmmakers – spearheaded by director Matthew White – investigate the power of family lore as they track down the original owners of the Mein Kampf. "The Upside Down Book" seeks to build bridges between two different families nearly 70 years after the end of World War II.

 

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