Different Trains is a profoundly moving work. A large-scale video installation that spans more than 20 feet and is 29 minutes in duration, the work features a 1988 musical score by Steve Reich, reinterpreted by Spanish filmmaker Beatriz Caravaggio. Steve Reich’s 1988 score for string quartet and recorded voice is a beautiful and emotionally charged rumination on the train journeys of his youth and of the horrific deportation trains of the Holocaust. The score was awarded the 1989 Grammy for the Best Contemporary Classical Composition.
Created by Caravaggio in 2016, Different Trains, sets Reich’s score to an archival film montage that lends new depths and insights to the original musical composition. The video stands as important reminder of one of the greatest tragedies in human history. The work is both historically important and aesthetically impressive. Both the music and videos are beautifully composed; Reich’s score fragmented and modern, with Caravaggio’s editing swiftly leading the audience through the work.
In conjunction with TMA’s presentation of the multimedia installation Different Trains, visitors are invited to view the documentary, Bearing Witness: The Voices of Our Survivors, presented in the Little Theater twice daily. In the film, six Holocaust survivors from five different countries share their experiences with teens. A collaboration with the Jewish community of Toledo, Ohio, Bearing Witness fosters dialog between the survivors and today's youth, cultivating personal awareness and one's responsibility to understand history in order for future generations to prevent the atrocities of the Holocaust from happening again. Through the survivors' individual stories, the Holocaust's collective history is shared. Their personal memories, will to survive, and messages of hope inspire, sharing the truth of the Holocaust so that future generations "never forget."
Bearing Witness: The Voices of Our Survivors was directed and produced by Heather Elliott-Famularo. In addition to being an award-winning filmmaker, Elliott-Famularo serves as the department head of the University of Connecticut’s Digital Media & Design department, where she holds the Donna Krenicki Professorship of Design and Digital Media and is an affiliated faculty member of Judaic Studies. She continues to explore human rights issues and genocide in her current research.