Library and Archives Canada - Bibliothèque et Archives Canada       Canada  
 Home > ArchiviaNet
  Important Notices  

ArchiviaNet : On-line Research Tool


Film, Video and Sound

Fonds/collection: STRAYER, Colin
General accesss conditions for collection
Consultation: open


with authorization of copyright owner


2. Made from original neg at Film House lab. [1-1]
Restrictions on individual titles within this Collection may differ from the General Access Conditions
Accession number: 1992-0097
Item number (ISN): 194563
Media: Film
Title: Iskowitz
Original title: Iskowitz
Part: 1 of 1
Production date: 1982/1987
Release date: 1991-05-31

Production company:

Northland Pictures
Zoeikon Films Inc.

Country of production:

Production credit: director/photography, Leonidas Zourdoumis; producer, Colin Strayer; sound, Karin Michael; David Joliat; Gary Nichol; editing, Peter Vinet
Distribution: Country - distribution: cn
Name of distributor: Northland Pictures
Description: DOCUMENTARY

A rare and intimate view of the life of the late Canadian painter Gershon Iskowitz. Production commenced in 1982 on the portrait of this artist. However, before director/director of photography Leonidas Zourdoumis was able to complete the film the artist became ill and, in January of 1988, died at the age of 67. The film was intended as a celebration of Iskowitz' life, and Zourdoumis decided to present the film as originally envisioned. Instead of chronicling his life from birth until death, Iskowitz is seen in his prime strolling around Toronto's Spadina/Queen Street West area visiting his favourite haunts and talking with friends. Born in 1921 in Kielce, Poland, Iskowitz began painting in 1941. At a time when most young men are exploring the world and discovering themselves, he was interned in the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald. To preserve his sanity, he bribed guards for coffee grounds that he then used to create his ink. When the camp was liberated, Iskowitz retreived his artwork which had survived by being stashed under floorboards. He emigrated to Canada alone in 1949, the only member of his family to survive the death camps. For almost forty years Iskowitz lived in downtown Toronto. He spent his summers painting on Georgian Bay and in the Muskoka region. It was there that his style evolved from the dark scenes and portraits he was first known for, into the more abstract views of the landscape that would become his trademark. After his death, this film entered its final stage of editing. However, in September of 1988, at the age of 44, Zourdoumis was killed in a plane crash. Shortly thereafter, Toronto filmmaker Colin Strayer, now the only living member of the original production team, enlisted the help of friends of Zourdoumis who carried the film through the final stages of production to completion. <26mn 28s>


1. The running time is based on the measured length of the archives's master print.

Physical description
Source: DSINTRNL - 194563