The Boy in the Woods


A Holocaust survival story told through the eyes of a young Jewish boy.

The film begins in the spring of 1943, in the town of Buczacz in Eastern Europe. The German army is continuing their mass execution of thousands of Jewish people and gearing up for the final deportation of all remaining Jews. When German soldiers find Max and his family, his mother helps him to escape into the woods before getting captured. The rest of the film follows Max as he struggles to survive the elements and “Jew-hunters.”

Jett Klyne (WandaVision) gives an amazing performance as the titular boy in the woods. Richard Armitage (The Hobbit films) also shines as Jasko, a farmer that takes in Max for a brief period before he is turned away due to mounting pressure from the police. Other notable cast members include David Kohlsmith (Shazam) as Yanek, a young boy whom Max befriends in the forest, and Christopher Heyerdahl (Peacemaker) as Chief Bagan.

The film is a big-screen adaptation of Maxwell Smart’s memoir, ‘The Boy in the Woods’. The director, Rebecca Snow, also directed a 2019 documentary titled Cheating Hitler: Surviving the Holocaust, about the children that survived the Holocaust.

The Boy in the Woods is a survival story, but it’s about more than surviving the forest and Nazis. It’s about finding the strength to endure and finding hope in what seems like a hopeless situation. More than just survival, it’s a story about heroism: not only the resilience to survive, but the compassion to care for and save others, and the courage to do so in the face of fear.

The film was produced by Canadian Screen Award winner and Londoner Robert Budreau. David who plays Yanek is from Cambridge, and actor Chris Heyerdahl is based in Stratford.

Tuesday Pre Film Speaker:

Dr. Magdalena Kubow received her PhD in history from the University of Western Ontario in 2015. Her dissertation is titled “Contemporary Reactions to War and the Holocaust with a Focus on The Role of the Polish-Language Press in North America from 1926-1945.” She turned her dissertation into a monograph with McFarland & Company Publishing. Her book is titled “Poland and the Holocaust in the Polish-American Press 1926-1945” (released July 2020). She has attended conferences and workshops in Washington (US), Warsaw (Poland), Kent (England), Yad Vashem (Israel) and is an EHRI Fellow (Jewish Historical Institute – 2017). Dr. Kubow has many interests and publications including: “The Solidarity Movement in Poland: Its history and meaning in collective memory” (The Polish Review, Vol. 58, No. 2, 2013); “Kanada: The Effect of The Canadian Jewish News and Survivors on the Memory of the Holocaust” (Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History, Vol. 19, No.3, 2013 – Published April 2014); and “Polish-Jewish Relations as Reflected in the Pages of the Republika-Górnik 1926-1930″(The Polish Review, Vol. 62. No.1, 2017).

Presented With:


Award winning. Internationally screened. Intergenerational. Queer-representation.

11 min | Beth Warrian
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