Price: $265.00

    Code: 2139

    Produced by Eileen Douglas and Ron Steinman
    Directed by Ron Steinman
    72 minutes, 2004
    Purchase: $265 Classroom Rental:$125

    To purchase a home video copy of this film, please call us at (212) 685-6242.

    My Grandfather's House , a personal documentary, follows filmmaker Eileen Douglas's determined search to find her grandfather's house in Lithuania , the home he lived in and left behind in 1911 when he fled, at 16, from Kovno to America to escape the Tsar's Army. Four decades after his death, with only fragments to guide the way, the documentary is Douglas 's attempt to lift the veil of darkness and discover "where it all began."  Traveling from New York City, to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, to her mother's attic in Syracuse, to the homes of relatives and, finally, to the block in Kovno where her grandfather once lived, along the way she unexpectedly unlocks the mystery of stories he never told, discovers the fate of family members lost in the war, learns of the glory that once was Lithuanian Jewry, finds living relatives missing for years in Siberia, and resurrects a family shattered by the traumas of the 20th Century.

    The documentary weaves together original footage, old family photographs, archival records, translations of old Yiddish letters, archival film footage, family reminiscences, interviews, conversations, and music scored to evoke a vanished era.

    Subjects & Collections


    “Wonderful! The story has such narrative drive that we’re quickly engaged. A wise and heartwarming movie.” - Jan Lisa Huttner, World Jewish Digest

    "A personal, evocative film rich in human minutia." - Masha Leon, The Forward

    "This is the most moving, beautifully produced personal memoir of a second generation that I have ever seen." - Dr. William Shulman, President of the Holocaust Resource Center and Archives

    “An exceptional documentary for high school classes” –School Library Journal

    “I forgot to bring tissues and there was not a dry eye in the house.”- Marlene Bishow, JGS of Greater Washington

    “Like so many of us who have been “bitten” by the genealogy bug, Eileen Douglas has asked questions, interviewed family, and searched documents. Unlike most of us, she used her skills as a filmmaker to create a lasting memorial to her grandfather and other ancestors.” --Marlene Bishow, JGS of Great Washington

    “While watching the film, it brought me back to conversations I had with my grandparents about life in Europe before the war. It touched my heart and memories of my youth.” --Rhonda Barad, Simon Wiesenthal Center.NYC

    “As a genealogist, I was incredibly impressed by Eileen Douglas’s touching and beautiful tribute to her late grandfather. It shows all of us that one’s research can lead to so much more than documentation alone, and teaches us to never give up on our own genealogical quests. A “must see” not only for researchers of Lithuanian-Jewish history, but for ALL researchers, genealogists, or anyone who is curious about their own background.”-- Davida Noyek Handler, President Litvak/SIG

    “I eagerly followed every step of Eileen’s “detective” work and I was quite moved by the end. I had no idea there was so much information out there waiting to be uncovered--I was amazed to see the detailed records held in Lithuania. Compared to Eileen, I’m shockingly uninformed about my own similar family history--my grandparents didn’t talk about the old country much more that did Eileen’s grandfather. But I’m newly inspired to debrief my relatives while I still can.” -Gary Kass, University of Missouri Press

    “‘My Grandfather’s House’ captures the excitement of a heartfelt journey and provides a helpful model for many genealogists who want to revisit their ancestral homes.”—Ken Frieden, Syracuse University Jewish Studies chair

    "Such a moving experience. I work mostly with record, I am buried in papers and not so often see living people, connections between the deceased and the living behind them. You have done a great job.—Vitalija Gircyte, Kaunas Municipal Archives

    “The movie is just beautiful in every way. You did a great job of capturing the whole family history enterprise. I only hope that you’ll write again soon to tell me that it’s going to be on PBS.”—Sallyann Sack, editor of Avotaynu

    “Genealogy is like time travel. Our ancestors’ stories, handed down through generations, can lead us to the places that shaped their lives---and ours by extension. In ‘My Grandfather’s House’ Eileen Douglas takes us along on just such a voyage, using her beloved grandfather’s stories as the road map, and we are all richer for the experience.” Pamela Weisberger, Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles

    "I was very moved. You did what so many of us dream of.—Ann Harris, Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles

    “...the emotional telling of the story was fantastic. I was in tears.”—JGS LA audience member

    “a remarkable and moving family story.” –Judith Roach, Head of Local History and Genealogy, the Library of Congress

    I am please that I finally had the opportunity to watch the film. It is really wonderful. You did an amazing job and I am really thrilled that we are showing here at the Book Center. –Nora Gerard, the National Yiddish Book Center

    "...truly an enjoyable and inspiring tale. You should be very proud of your efforts. I thank you.” Laurence Morrell, Orlando-JGS

    “My Grandfather’s House is an important movie for everybody: Jewish, non-Jewish and of all cultures. This movie brings full circle the journey one goes through to discover and explore his/her roots. I loved how the filmmaker was able to include all of her family, both living and non-living, to get a full sense of who she was. I found the movie to be very compelling and it made me go home after the screening and take a look at old pictures and remind myself from where I have come from.”—Ilene Dackman Alon, Program Director, the Jewish Museum of Maryland