Sixty Seconds to Escape: How Sarah Jones Lost Her Life at Work

Sixty Seconds to Escape: How Sarah Jones Lost Her Life at Work

Sarah Jones, Assistant Camera

Sarah Jones, Assistant Camera, Photo credit: Darrell Sheldon

Like so many people working in the film industry, I have been thinking about Sarah Jones the last few weeks. Sarah’s job was second assistant camera. Her job entailed the transport of camera and lenses, helping the focus puller get the measurements to get the focus correct and slating the take in addition to other duties. She was killed on train tracks on February 20 in Georgia during the filming of Midnight Rider, the Gregg Allman biopic. As they were setting up to shoot a scene on train tracks running across the bridge, they actually sat down and had a prayer circle. Not a safety meeting, a prayer circle. Now I’ve been in the film business over twenty five years as a stunt woman and also work as a locations person and I can attest to having many a safety meeting before a stunt or a scene with special effects but this is the first I’ve heard of a prayer circle. Not only did they not have permission to shoot on the tracks, they didn’t know the times of when trains were scheduled to pull through. They knew this was unsafe.

This makes me cry and feel anger at the same time. No safety meetings, no medic, no permission. This was doomed from the start and completely unprofessional at every level. Hair stylist Joyce Gilliard, who was severely injured on the film, said there was no call sheet.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/midnight-rider-accident-sarah-jones-death-gregg-allman-685976?mobile_redirect=false

I have worked for some of the top location managers in the film business from Scott Logan to Kristi Frankenheimer to Kyle Alexander. None of these professionals would have allowed a film crew to shoot on an active bridge. Even if the location manager did secure the unsafe location,(which is not the case) no level headed department head would have considered a live track to be a viable option. I’ve been on enough sets to know that the call sheet is not always a bible, it can be fluid depending on what the DP and director decide on a camera angle. In this case, there was no call sheet, crew was told it was a test so they were essentially lied to. This is a travesty of injustice.

So the question we have all been wondering is how did this happen? How did the production get to the point where a train is barreling down the tracks with crew members running for their lives towards the train? With bits and pieces of debris being thrown into their faces? Carrying heavy camera equipment? With sixty seconds to get off the tracks? Where was the safety person like the ones that always visit our sets in Los Angeles? Is this part of the “new Hollywood” in the south where financial cuts affect crew members safety? If the location manager informed the people in charge there were no permits, who decided to ignore that and send the crew out to the tracks? Why was there no medic?

This is not an LA vs. Georgia piece. I just want to understand how this happened. I think it’s fairly clear someone tried to steal a shot and their luck ran out. Just wait until the footage is released.

This doesn’t even feel like an accident more like pure negligence. The show must go on but not at the cost of human life. As my dear friend, stunt man Bernie Pock told me long ago as we stood on the roof of a building outside of San Francisco, about to do a double fall, “Hannah, the film negative is small. Your life is not worth a few frames of film.”

David Whyte, in his book, Crossing the Unknown Sea, Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity, writes that in our work we find an imaginative treasure that we hope will give us self-respect, independence and the ease we desire. In our work we feel wanted and chosen. He shares that to be excited, to be wanted specifically for work, and to feel that dream come true, helps bring us fulfillment. David’s research helps to convey the multilevel discipline involved in doing good work is the road to happiness and the pilgrimage to self-respect. Sarah Jones, a spunky and determined girl, understood this.

Here is what I saw when I exited Stage 12 at CBS/Radford last week on our comedy show, Brooklyn Nine Nine. One of the beautiful aspects of the work we do is becoming a family, spending twelve to sixteen hours a day together. Sarah Jones, a passionate young woman who loved books and took off to travel when she wasn’t working, always had a camera to record her experiences from hiking mountains to diving in oceans. Sarah lost her life in a day’s work. This tragedy is going to have us look closer at how we make films and what we require to keep us safe. Maybe now it’s time for that prayer circle for we lost a family member.

Sixty Seconds to Escape: How Sarah Jones Lost Her Life at Work

RIP Sarah Jones from 728 on Brooklyn Nine Nine

RIP Sarah Jones from 728 on Brooklyn Nine Nine

Sarah Jones - Warner Brothers

Sarah Jones – Warner Brothers


Michael Jackson binds his soul to his work in ONE

Michael Jackson binds his soul to his work in ONE

photo: Isaac Brekken/Getty Images

photo: Isaac Brekken/Getty Images


A holographic image of Michael Jackson’s white, sparkling glove, black fedora, white sequined socks and black loafers slowly orbits a chair. His voice fills the theater every thirty seconds or so with dramatic pauses inserted between snippets of interviews. The theater has been built especially for the Michael Jackson ONE show – a way to pay respects to the man and his music, to honor what he achieved in his short life.

MJ hat, glove

The guitar and melody from Michael Jackson’s “Privacy” starts to play and I already know the ONE show is going to be special. Was this the estate’s way of saying Michael was hunted his entire life? Men dressed in red suits as tabloid photographers walk around the theatre firing their cameras at the various audience members in the sold out show.

A twelve-year old Jackson sings his soulful “I’ll Be There” on the screen. Pages from a video photo book show Michael in early 1970 with his deep brown eyes looking at his future while another photo shows him smiling, from deep in his heart.

Michael Jackson 1972

I found myself wondering what could have been, what if this boy who grew up right before our collective eyes was still alive? What else would he have had up his creative sleeve to share with us? But, we would never know. Despite his renewed sense of determination to create a spectacular show, his life was cut short on June 25, 2009.

Thinking about this moved me to tears. I could see a little black boy living in Gary, Indiana, who wiggled and moved his diaper bottom to the rhythm of the rickety washing machine and dreamed of creating the greatest show on earth. A boy whose professional education was talent shows with his brothers, where he learned to grab the audience and keep hold of each fan with no detail being missed from The Jackson Five clothes, shoes, hair, every detail. In ONE, no detail is overlooked from the costumes to the lights, acrobats, screens, sounds, sets. The only set that didn’t work for me was the “Working Day and Night” segment.

The screen flashes photos of women who Michael loved. Against a half moon in the sky, we see images of his mother Katherine Jackson, Diana Ross and Elizabeth Taylor. We hear Michael’s voice singing “Stranger in Moscow”, a testament to the loneliness he felt in a world that let him down when false accusations provided an excuse to try to destroy his career. When Jackson screams “I’m living lonely, baby” we know he is.

Michael Jackson’s admiration for P.T. Barnum was a well-known fact. Michael was known to have handed out copies of P.T. Barnum’s The Greatest Show on Earth to his staff. His goal, for all his shows, was to provide people escapism. Creating magic with his song and dance was part of his myriad of passions. Michael Jackson’s new residency show, ONE, at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas is a testament to the spirit of his genius. I was impressed with the physical challenges the performers executed with their falls and leaps into the air.

Michael asked us to look at social issues. He asked us to stop fighting, to end war in “Heal the World” and to stop racism in “Black or White.” He danced about ending gang violence in “Beat It”, healing our planet in “Earth Song”. In “Scream”, he was incensed at how the tabloids and media lied to sell their papers. Even though he endured years of torture on a global scale, he continued to create. Even though the media always had the direction of the compass needle pointed to negative, he forgave. Even Michaels’ ability to forgive was one of his greatest character traits and accomplishments.

Michael Jackson created art of his pain, loneliness and turmoil. G-d gave Michael his talent but I think one of his greatest strengths his entire life was to cultivate his gifts, something he learned not only from his father but from Berry Gordy, Michael’s father at Motown.

Michael always spoke of wanting to bind his soul to his work. His perfection insisted that his art would make a difference and live on. In ONE, we can feel, hear and taste that his soul and his art are indeed ONE.

An artist creates something new yet the brain abhors the new. The purpose of the artist is to challenge the brain. The brain is the enemy of the artist. Michael Jackson never stopped challenging himself. He worked the stage as if he lived there his entire life. He often said he felt the happiest when he was on stage. Tonight, at the ONE show, I feel the magic that Cirque Du Soleil has created with Michael’s music and I could feel the essence of Michael, back on stage.

We are taken on a journey of the interplay between light and dark. Even though the media tried to destroy Michael, his consciousness was elevated. He had an ability to feel, to become the music, the physical incarnation of the beat. He understood the vibrational energy that yogis understand with mantra. That is not something everyone is tuned into. Michael was.

Do we remember Michael Jackson for his heart, his art, his soul? Is any of it separate? This shy, dynamo child prodigy grew up into a confident man full of swag who was in complete control of his artistry. Michael Jackson pushed the envelope on dance, music, and this show does as well. Maverick is a word I use to describe very few. MJ was a maverick not only with music but his iconic fashion statements. The ONE costumes are reinvented by the show’s costume designer, Zaldy Goco, while keeping the classic M.J. look, he updates them to a modern era.

photo: Zaldo Goco

photo: Zaldo Goco

From the opening sequence of “Beat It” to the bass pumping through 5,500 speakers – which sound designer Jonathan Deans evenly placed on the backs of the seats – I know ONE is about to take us on a wild, musical journey. Can you feel it?

MJ 80's by Chris Walter

I loved the tribute show “Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour” and treated my two dear friends and myself by going twice. This is not a tribute like Immortal, but rather a musical journey of the King of Pop’s music that is reinterpreted to show us agility, playfulness, courage, love: themes that represent Michael and each one is represented in ONE. Like Immortal, this show is written and directed by Jamie King. For this show, King collaborates with Montreal native Welby Altidor.

When I hear “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, and I look at the white sky filled with stars from the Milky Way, I feel grateful to have grown up in the era of Michael Jackson, who believed his gift came from G-d, that the music came to him from the source. Michael was a spiritual man, deeply connected to the universe, who was known for feeling guilty for taking credit for writing his songs because he believed they were created from above. When Michael was creating or performing his music, we were witness to an artist in a state of grace.

MJ performing

The Michael Jackson ONE show is a visual treat, a show filled with dazzling lights, acrobatics and dancing. It’s a journey filled with timeless music that brought me to tears one moment to smiling from deep in my heart the next.

Michael Jackson wanted to bring us escapism, and to heal the world. I think he is smiling down on us, wherever he is, showing us love is always stronger than hate.

ONE gives us a taste of Michael Jackson’s soul; a magical, mystical, spiritual symphony of sound and passion. We are given the experience of Michael’s moral conscious, his work ethic and his musical genius. Michael Jackson had the voice of an angel, an angel who could sing bass, baritone and tenor. Angels aren’t supposed to live on Earth but G-d knows he tried.

photo: DMI

photo: DMI

Michael Jackson binds his soul to his work in ONE


Suzan Woodruffs’ Echo Maker at Katherine Cone Gallery

Suzan Woodruff’s Echo Maker opened tonight at the Katherine Cone Gallery on La Cienega and will run from October 26 – December 7, 2013.

http://www.katherineconegallery.com

The first time I saw Suzan Woodruff’s paintings in person, I was moved to tears. In the swirling movement of people in a crowded gallery, Woodruff’s paintings touched me to my core. I discovered an emotional poetry that connected us from our childhoods.

Ghosting

Ghosting

Woodruff is an artist who has mastered the fine art of letting go of control. She touches the heavens with her skies or are we swimming in an ocean with no end in sight?

Lunar Palpitations

Lunar Palpitations

A powerful woman, she told me once that being an artist is the only way she has lived her life and is inspired by the awe of nature, science, space, emotional memories and experiences. She looks at everything; the sky, the oceans, as if she may never see them again.

After Burn

After Burn

She has described herself as part mad scientist and part shaman and uses meditation methods to control the chaos while creating paintings that are quieting. Her paintings evoke Georgia O’Keefe, one of the female artists she admires for her use of feminine and sexual imagery.

Hannah Kozak _Suzan Woodruff_3428

Woodruff has supported herself as an artist since she left home at sixteen. Truly a non-conformist, she has always lived on the edge of life and in part because her grandmother insisted Suzan was a reincarnated artist, she has always believed in her gifts and her life as an artist. She was born to create.

Smoke

Smoke

Everyone is born creative but most people’s insecurities prevent them from pursuing their passions and they are so afraid of failure that it inhibits their ability to explore themselves creatively.

Self Similarities

Self Similarities

As we orbit through the universe, Woodruff controls bits of our planets’ chaos long enough to create quiet slices of life. Her passion, her presence and her commitment to her art is an art.

Ghost Dust Particles

Ghost Dust Particles

Ghost Dust Particles

Ghost Dust Particles

Occulation

Occulation

Little Echo II

Little Echo II

Little Green Echo III

Little Green Echo III

Little Echo

Little Green Echo

Little Green Echo

Little Green EchoII

Little Green Echo11

Little Green Echo11

Casper Brindle & Suzan - friend and artist.

Casper Brindle & Suzan – friend and artist.


Michael Jackson – The King of Light and Love

@ hannah kozak

I was ten years old the first time I heard Michael Jackson’s falsetto voice singing “I Want You Back.” I had a visceral reaction not only to his voice but to everything about him. I still do.  There were his soulful eyes, his unique dancing, his boundless creativity and spiritual way of living life. Michael was a force field of energy and a creative genius with vision who would conceive and execute his ideas through his lifelong habit of discipline. He was a kind, gentle soul who went out of his way for people. Michael Jackson’s light was what drew me to him, most of all.  G-d was a vehicle of light working through Michael, who always gave thanks to the creator.

@ hannah kozak

Michael Jackson brought me escapism with his music and pure joy.  He taught me to never give up my dreams. His sensitivity was as marked as his child-like spirit.

@hannah kozak

Why did he become someone who was ridiculed, yet revered? Scorned and adored? People without the light want to destroy those who do. The light in another reflects back their darkness and their mission becomes to destroy. He was complex, talented, kind, shrewd and mysterious. Michael Jackson made people smile, while showing the world that one poor, Afro American boy from Gary, Indiana with a strong work ethic, could make a profound change in the world. Why is it that people wanted to basically send MJ to jail for being eccentric? No matter how many facts, or truths are shared, the media wants to kill MJ all over again with the AEG trial. I wonder when the crucification will end. An innocent man was hunted and now, so are his children.

@hannah kozak

Card by Marry Arts

I loved how brave Michael was. He didn’t conform, fitting into any box, knowing all great artists must break rules.  He had his own style of dress, wearing fedoras and one sequined glove, white socks underneath too short peg leg black trousers when no one else thought it was cool. In his short films he screamed out against injustices. Michael didn’t keep silent and I love and respect him for that.

@ hannah kozak

Click on image to read the poetry.

His friend Brett Ratner said Michael was the most inspirational person in his life. Michael’s dream was to cure all the sick children in the world. When Ratner would ask “Isn’t that impossible”? Michael would just start to cry. He truly was a pure innocent in a world that questioned his innocence.

@ hannah kozak@ hannah kozak

Fans travel from all corners of the world to Los Angeles to show their respects. The group, One Rose for Michael Jackson is responsible for coordinating 13,447 freedom long stem red roses placed at Holly Terrace at Forest Lawn to show the fan’s love that’s in their hearts with this outpouring of beauty. Sunflowers for Michael brings cards and flowers from fans all over the globe.

@ hannah kozak

One Rose for Michael

I met five fans from Hong Kong and two from Japan who travel to Los Angeles every year to pay their respects to Michael.  Seeing their art work and feeling their passion for Michael moved me to tears and a flood gate of emotion was released.  I haven’t cried like that in a long time. Fanny said “From the heaven, we all love him so much.” Here are photos of the hand made art pieces they created and traveled with. They created the artwork working together every Sunday for the last three months. “Everyone has an idea. We all work together.” The group arrived June 22 and leave on June 29. “We make Michael happy. He’s watching us from above.” Yoly said.

@hannah kozak

Left to right: Fanny, May, Jessica, Yoly, Queenie, ?, Sae

@hannah kozak

@ hannah kozak

@hannah kozak

@hannah kozak

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@hannah kozak

@hannah kozak

@ hannah kozak

Click on card to read poetry

@hannah kozak@hannah kozak

@hannah kozak HKozak_MJ19_8084

Maria Zhdanova came alone from Russia to bring Michael roses and cards, taking a bus from Hollywood to get to Forest Lawn Glendale. The devotion from the fans is a testament to the man.

@ hannah kozak

Maria Zhdanova – Russia

@ hannah kozak

Sae Tsuzuki  from Japan brought this quilt with 108 patches, each hand made by a different fan.

@hannah kozak

108 piece quilt from Japan

@ hannah kozak

insert – quilt from Japan

@hannah kozak

@hannah kozak

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@ hannah kozak

@ hannah kozak

@hannah kozak

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@ hannah kozak

@hannah kozak

It’s been four years since Michael Jackson left his physical body. The fans at Forest Lawn are here to show respect to the man he was. I am continuing to write about him because instead of recognizing the gifts he gave to this planet and praising his talents, the evil media continues to tear him down, just as when he was alive.  They lied about him, paid people to create lies about him and in the case of District Attorney Thomas Sneddon, even went as far as falsifying records in a court of law.  I continue my support of Michael Jackson because I believe in his heart and his innocence. Mainstream media hated and betrayed him because of his light, which continues to shine brightly.   He stole our hearts when he was a mere twelve years old with his unmatched talent, never wavering in his relentless perfectionism, refusing to believe in failure. His capacity to believe in his gifts, in himself was infinite. He was a young man who shared his wealth with those less fortunate and forgave repeatedly.  Most importantly, he was that rare human being who loved unconditionally.

No, Michael didn’t fit into any of society’s neat little boxes. Thank God for that.

@ hannah kozak

@ hannah kozak

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@ hannah kozak

@hannah kozak@ hannah kozak@ hannah kozak@ hannah kozak

“Wherever you go, in every country, on every continent, people yearn and hunger for one thing – to love and be loved. Love transcends international boundaries and heals the wounds of hatred, racial prejudice, bigotry and ignorance. It is the ultimate truth at the heart of all creation. “

-Michael Jackson

12 Yr old MJ
“No one is perfect. You may not be a perfect person, but refuse to let anyone tear you down or extinuish the light that shines from within.”

-Michael Jackson

I love DJOXyGeNe8′s videos. MJ fans are so creative! You guys rock!

Read: http://www.defendingaking.com


Jerusalem – The most venerated site on earth

Jerusalem –  The Most Venerated Site on Earth

From the Arthur Hotel in Jerusalem located on the famous Dorot Rishonim Street, I overlook the walking area of Ben-Yehuda Street, named after the founder of modern Hebrew, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda. Yehuda believed Hebrew and Zionism shared a symbiotic relationship.  This location is a perfect ten-minute walk from the Old City. As I feel the warm evening breeze, I hear the buzz of this midrachov, pedestrian mall. I hear the sounds of this historic city as I watch people eating at sidewalk cafes. Street musicians play their guitars as the smell of falafel cooking is in the air, while cats wander about looking up to me to say hello in the land of milk and honey. On the Sabbath morning, I hear the sound of silence. No cars, buses, or people’s voices, only the quiet that comes from respecting the day of rest.

© hannah kozak

Child in Jerusalem

Between Egypt and Mesopotamia a land bridge known as Canaan connected Africa to Asia. This land passage of Canaan which became Israel was a geopolitical death trap then and today. It was predestined to be a battlefield of the ages and is one of the most volatile locations on our planet. Scholars and holy men find her to be the navel of the world. I like to visit elevated places that are instructional and educational so Jerusalem is a perfect fit. The Four Quarters of the Old City are made up of The Jewish, Muslim, Armenian and the Christian quarters. Jerusalem causes one to look more closely at everything, not just observe and definitely stop judging.

© hannah kozak

Mother and children on the Sabbath in The Jewish Quarter, Jerusalem

Abraham’s wanderings were around 1800 BC. The first written mention of Jerusalem appeared on Egyptian clay pottery known as execration texts around 1850 BC. Jerusalem has been called the most venerated site on earth, a halfway house between heaven and earth. The Jews have always loved Jerusalem the most, almost like a best friend where the love is constant, Jerusalem never fails to give me hope and strength.

© hannah kozak

Child in Jerusalem

© hannah kozak

Boys at school in Jerusalem

I wandered into this shop called Sinjilawi while I was in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem. The colors, fabrics, smells of incense, lights and pottery grabbed my attention as I spoke to Omar Hamad, who explained to me that nine generations of his family have owned this business in the Arabic section of the Old City. I loved peeking down the fifty nine foot (eighteen meter) well that is inside their store.

© hannah kozak

Sinjlawi – Old City, Jerusalem

© hannah kozak

Sinjlawi – Old City, Jerusalem

@ hannah kozak

Sinjlawi – Old City, Jerusalem

© hannah kozak

Children – Jerusalem

@ hannah kozak

Jerusalem

© hannah kozak

Jerusalem

© hannah kozak

Jerusalem

© hannah kozak

Israeli soldiers – Jerusalem

© hannah kozak

Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers - Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers – Jerusalem

© hannah kozak

A favorite falafel shop in the Old City, Jerusalem

© hannah kozak

Children in Jewish Section- Jerusalem

© hannah kozak

Children in Jewish Quarter -Jerusalem

© hannah kozak

Jerusalem

© hannah kozak

The Old City – Jerusalem

© hannah kozak

Children playing – Old City, Jerusalem

© hannah kozak

Near the Jaffa Gate – Old City, Jerusalem

© hannah kozak

Israeli Soldiers – Old City, Jerusalem

 hannah kozak

Old City, Jerusalem

© hannah kozak

Jerusalem cat- I bring fish in my pocket to share with the wandering cats

© hannah kozak

Shop in Jerusalem

© hannah kozak

Another delicious breakfast in Israel – @ Arthur Hotel

© hannah kozak

Where do the children play? Old City, Jerusalem


Israel’s Memorial Day Remembrance in Jerusalem with James Turrell’s Space That Sees

Jerusalem proved to be full of surprises that will stay with me forever. I walked into James Turrell’s “Space That Sees” at the Israel Museum of Art with a new friend I met at The Arthur Hotel in Jerusalem. I could be in a pyramid, a mausoleum, or a temple from this creation by Turrell, who is known for spaces with openings in the ceilings or walls and edges so thin that it looks like there’s no separation between them and our sky. Turrell has the ability to seduce people into paying attention to the present, to find gratification from staring at the sky for long periods of time.  While observing the sky through this profoundly simple work of art, I was feeling a deep connection to my surroundings in Israel. There is an acute sense of Jewishness here, a spiritual connection between land and soul. I belong.

© hannah kozak

James Turrell – A Space That Sees @ The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

We sat on the concrete and limestone and within moments of arriving, a siren started, commemorating Israel’s Memorial Day.  Everyone in the space stood simultaneously, no one moved an inch and I felt the stirrings of my father’s past come up inside me. The tears are healing.  There is a desolation in traveling that is soul crushing yet I imagined my father getting on a boat called General Blachford, alone, crossing the Atlantic from Germany, not knowing the language where he was heading, without any money, or a friend in the world and I am filled with and energized by his fearlessness and bravery. So while fear is an obstacle for most people, it is an illusion for me. I’m never alone for too long for G-d is in my heart and always seems to put wonderful souls into my path. I was also moved by the friendly, caring spirit of my new found friend who lives in Rome, that I met in Jerusalem.

© hannah kozak

In observation of Israel’s Memorial Day

The others left the space shortly thereafter the ending of the siren, clearly planning to be in the space for that event, while ours was a serendipitous moment, simply divine synchronicity followed by a meditative experience, laying on the ground together, looking up to the heavens imaging saints and thanking the angels for making this magic occur.

© hannah Kozak

James Turrell – A Space That Sees

Situated on a hill in the Givat Ram neighborhood of Jerusalem is the Israel Museum, one of the leading art museums in the world. These works of art in particular, made me take notice and moved me.  If something moves me, I like to photograph it. If something causes me pain, I photograph it. Art is meant to provoke feelings; good or bad. As I continue to wander through Israel, I feel alive. I find myself by getting lost.

Adi Nes

Adi Nes – Untitled – 1996

© hannah kozak

Adi Nes – Untitled- 1999

This is Adi Nes’ version of the “Last Supper”. There are fourteen young Israeli soldiers sitting and standing at a long table in a bullet-pocked desert barracks. His photos are elaborately staged, often homoerotic, with macho Israeli soldiers featured.

“I wanted to express the idea that in Israel, death lingers. Death is being foreshadowed in most of these pictures,” says Nes, standing in front of his huge “Untitled” (1999), which was inspired by Leonardo’s “Last Supper.”

Israelis, he says, “are dying not only in combat, but in their daily activity — from bombs on buses, suicide bombers in restaurants. The moment you serve as a soldier, you choose to give yourself over to the society, to the army, to someone else. You have to take the possibility you’re going to die. Here, I tried to incorporate the idea that this supper may be the last for any of them, not just Jesus. All of them are Jesus, all of them are Judas, ” adds Nes, whose pictures, with their attention to detail and dramatic contrast of light and shadow, are composed with an eye toward Caravaggio.

© hannah kozak

Henri Edmond Cross – Clearing in Provence ca. 1906

© hannah kozak

Théo van Rysselberghe, The Mediterranean at Le Lavandou, 1904

© hannah kozak

Camille Pissarro
Sunset at Éragny, 1890

© hannah kozak

Paul Gaugin, Upa Upa, (The Fire Dance) 1891

© hannah kozak

Vincent Van Gogh, Corn Harvest in Provence, June 1888

© hannah kozak

Oscar Kokoschka, The Eibe at Dresden, 1918-1922

© hannah kozak

Andre Derain, Three Trees, L’Estaque, 1906

© hannah kozak

Amedeo Modigliani, Jeanne Hebuterne, Seated, 1918

 © hannah kozak

Hans Hofman, Golden Glows into a New Day, 1965


Untethered through Warsaw, Poland

Untethered through Warsaw, Poland

Untethered, I wander through Poland, starting with Warsaw. I return home with the best souvenir, perspective.

Reality was too painful for me. Nine days after my father left his physical body, I booked a trip to see where he lived as a child, as a young man, after he survived the Holocaust in Poland. As a young girl, I escaped into books. As an adult, I escape to other worlds.Traveling has proven to be an antidote for sadness.

My friend Hanna picked me up at the Warsaw airport. Every act of unconditional love truly echoes in eternity of the heart and I will never forget the kindness she showed me.

I choose the Dom Literatury Hotel for two simple reasons:I was told the location was superb and they have a library. Relaxing with books, there is nothing better in my world. From my room, I could see the Warsaw Castle Square, Old Town and the Vistula River.

Here is the view from my hotel window. I loved to watch the light changing as day moved into night so I kept photographing it at different times of the day.

View from Dom Literatury of Old Town in Warsaw, Poland

View from Dom Literatury of Old Town in Warsaw, Poland

Another view from Dom Literatury of Old Town in Warsaw, Poland

Another view from Dom Literatury of Old Town in Warsaw, Poland

Another view from Dom Literatury of Old Town in Warsaw, Poland

Another view from Dom Literatury of Old Town in Warsaw, Poland

Walking through Old Town on my first evening was a magic night filled with a deep, dark, rich, blue sky. I love the variety of restaurants in the square where everyone walks. Some decorated with twinkling white lights, others with a mixture of colors.

Old Town, Warsaw, Poland

Old Town, Warsaw, Poland

Old Town in Warsaw, Poland

Old Town in Warsaw, Poland

In the morning, I walked a short distance and found this cafe with about twenty types of fresh bread to choose from. I fully understand now why my father always loved fresh bread for as long as I can recall. Everywhere I go in Poland, the bread is delicious. He was denied all but a morsel of bread when he was in the eight forced labor camps during the war. I remember how he would stop by Bea’s Bakery in Tarzana on Friday nights and he’d pick up a rye bread, sliced regular, with seeds. No thin slicing!

Old Town in Warsaw, Polnd

Old Town in Warsaw, Poland

Old Town in Warsaw, Poland

Old Town in Warsaw, Poland

Then, eerily, just as in Israel multiple times, I heard the sound of sirens while everyone bowed their heads in silence. Volunteers were giving out paper daffodils – a symbol of remembrance for those who fought in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The campaign is organized jointly by the Museum of the History of Polish Jews and the Warsaw Rising Museum to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. In 2013, we mark the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising which began on April 19, 1943. This was the first urban uprising in Nazi-occupied Europe; which was a symbolic act, given the impossibility of its military success.  I was moved to tears by the girls handing out the daffodils, by being in Warsaw during this remembrance day and thinking of my father.

It was an unequal fight with armed combatants from the Jewish Combat Organization and the Jewish Military League against the SS, Wehrmacht, the German Security Police and auxiliary units. This was when the Germans razed the Ghetto to the ground, burning down house after house. Rather than surrender to the Germans, a group of several dozen fighters committed suicide in the bunker at Mila 18 St. Another handful escaped as the Ghetto was burning, through the sewers.

I flashback to reading Mila 18 when I was a little girl in the two bedroom, one bath home I shared with my three brothers, sister, father and grandmother. In my roll-away bed, I’d hang a flashlight late at night in the book case of the living room where I slept, so I could read at all hours.

Daffodils are linked to the figure of Mark Edelman, the last commander of the Jewish Combat Organization. Every year, he would lay a bouquet of yellow flowers, often daffodils, at the Monument of the Ghetto Heroes.

Old Town in Warsaw, Poland

Old Town in Warsaw, Poland – 70th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

As I left early in the morning to leave for The Hill of Crosses in Lithuania, I spotted fresh bread delivered to the hotel.

Old Town in Warsaw, Poland

Fresh bread delivered to Dom Literatury

Ice cream shop in Old Town, Warsaw, Poland

Ice cream shop in Old Town, Warsaw, Poland

Untethered through Warsaw, Poland


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