Film

Oct. 23 Release for Timely Doc ‘Never Again Is Now’

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With rising antisemitism in the United States and Europe, “Never Again Is Now” is a timely documentary that reveals an alarmingly expansive and nuanced portrait of Right, Left and religious influences on the populace.  

At the heart of the film is Evelyn Markus, a Dutch lesbian Jew who fled to the United States with her partner, Rosa Zeegers.

“I grew up in the ’60s and ’70s in the world’s most liberal city, Amsterdam,” said Markus in remarks regarding the film, adding that she lived “virtually without any antisemitism where I enjoyed life with my long-time partner.”

But that suddenly changed in 2000, when a pink star defaced the door of their home.

Evelyn Markus

“With calls for ‘Jews to the gas!’ shouted in soccer stadiums and shocking and violent attacks in the streets,” Markus said, “as a child of Holocaust survivors, how could I look away from this? I was alarmed.”

Markus holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Erasmus University in Rotterdam. From 2002-2004 she was a member of an advisory task force to Dutch Parliament on policies against domestic violence.

She co-founded the Dutch non-profit “Network on Antisemitism” that urged and advised authorities to take measures against rising antisemitism. She also worked as a consultant to the Anne Frank House on combating rising antisemitism of Dutch immigrant youth. 

Evelyn Markus, right, speaks with Qanta Ahmed, a Muslim physician and writer.

“I am a psychologist. I had my own consulting and coaching business; I am also an activist against antisemitism, and all I used for that was a pen and knocking on doors,” Markus said. “I had no plans whatsoever to make a film.”

Markus was approached by producers interested in a letter her mother had written about her Holocaust experience. Ultimately, the film featured Markus’ personal story, and followed her journey as she questioned globally renowned experts, Parliamentarians, religious leaders, authors, activists, playwrights and political commentators, including Ben Shapiro, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, devout Muslim physician Qanta Ahmed, and a former U.S. Army soldier named Frank Towers.

On April 13, 1945, Towers assisted in the liberation of nearly 2,500 Jewish prisoners from a Nazi death train that had come from Bergen-Belsen. Evelyn’s mother, Josephine, was among them.

Now, as antisemitic incidents have been surging in America, Markus dreads the feeling that history is repeating itself. 

“I realized I have a mission,” she said, “to raise awareness at the grassroots level about rising antisemitism and facilitate civilized discourse focused on finding solutions.  Antisemitism deserves the best ideas from all of us.

“Back in 1940 we could have stopped the evil threat but we didn’t. Now we need to stop the evil, while we still can. That’s why ‘Never Again Is Now’!”

Evelyn Markus’ articles on antisemitism are being published in leading Dutch newspapers (Trouw, de Volkskrant, and New Israelite Weekly), in the American online magazine Gatestone Institute, and she is also speaking throughout the United States. 
CLICK HERE to see more about the film.

Journalist Laurie Schenden covers the entertainment industry, with many of her notable celebrity interviews appearing in the Los Angeles Times and other national and international publications. As a longtime columnist and feature writer for the LA Times, she also covered events and California destinations for the lifestyle, Outdoors and Travel sections. Laurie Schenden's international pieces include the long-running Where Are They Now celebrity feature for Spotlight Magazine, published in five languages. Laurie has also contributed to numerous documentary films, and is currently producing a documentary for her own company, Saving Grace Films.

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