Classic Cinemas Woodstock Theatre will kick off its new Second Monday Film Club with a presentation of “The Carrion Vine,” to be shown at 1 and 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, at the theater, 209 Main St.
The Second Monday Film Club was launched in response to requests for more art, foreign, classic or documentary films at Woodstock Theatre. The first special screening will feature a documentary based on the book “The Carrion Vine,” authored by Woodstock resident and World War II survivor Erane Scully.
The documentary is an incredible, true story about 91-year-old Erane Scully’s experiences during World War II. At age 14, Scully and her mother were returning to their home in Switzerland after vacationing in western Poland. The day they were on the train to Warsaw, Hitler invaded Poland and bombed the train station. They fled on foot trying to escape the Germans, only to be captured by the Russians and shipped to a Siberian labor camp.
The story is filled with one unbelievable event after another. Scully’s mother managed to keep notes about their experiences on tiny slips of paper that she hid in her personal suitcase. She told her daughter she needed to tell their story, prompting Scully to write “The Carrion Vine.”
“Everyone focused on Hitler and those atrocities and that story needs to be told,” said Scully, “but the Russian part was ignored. Our experience was just as bad.”
The well-spoken nonagenerian tells her story wherever there are interested ears, speaking to school groups and book clubs. Since her book was published she’s made more than 50 personal appearances.
Woodstock-based Front Row Productions created the documentary. “Front Row Productions is honored to have produced this documentary because it’s a special story that needs to be told,” said Joanie Rowe. “It was extremely difficult to condense this story into one hour. We hope we captured the events.”
Scully narrates the story in her own voice and McHenry County College Professor Todd Culp, Ph.D., adds historical perspective to the production.
“It was filmed with me telling the story,” said Scully. “I never knew it would go into a movie theater. This will be the first time for me to see it on a big screen.”
She will be present for a question- and-answer session and book signing following the 7 p.m. showing.