Primo Levi at the National Book Festival

Multimedia artist Cynthia Madansky produced this short film in tribute to Primo Levi as an introduction to the program at the National Book Festival.

She used little known archival images and footage provided by the Digital Library of the Center for Contemporary Jewish Documentation, Centro Internazionale di Studi Primo Levi, Archivio Patrizia Antonicelli, Archivio Ebraico Terracini, Leo Levi Family, Archivio Serafino, Fabrizio Salmoni, La Stampa, Fondazione Fossoli, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and RAI Teche.

Music: Luigi Dallapiccola’s Quaderno Musicale di Annalibera recorded by Matthew Laurence Edwards, San Francisco 1991. The production of the short was made possible through the generous support of the American Initiative for Italian Culture (

Qaddish, Aldo Perez recorded by Leo Levi in 1954 and published in the collection: Musiche della tradizione ebraica in Piemonte curated by Franco Segre and produced by the Archivio Ebraico Terracini.

Download Primo Levi’s chronology and additional information on the film’s sources.

Cynthia Madansky’s films integrate hybrid forms including autobiography, experimental tropes, cinema verité, literature, anthropological observation and dance, engaging with cultural and political themes, such as identity, nationalism, displacement and war and foregrounding the human experience and personal testimony. The most recent works include 1+8, a video installation on the borders of Turkey co-directed with Angelika Brudniak and two films produced as fellow at the American Academy in Rome, Anna Pina Teresa, exploring one of Anna Magnani’s legendary gestures in Roma Città Aperta and E42 a cinematic exploration of Fascism’s urban space.

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