Come Oscar season, all cinephiles are ready to campaign for their favorite film. Are you Team Gravity or Team 12 Years a Slave? Jennifer Lawrence or Lupita Nyong’o? While movie fans have likely seen all the big nominees by this point, there are smaller categories where even some film enthusiasts may not be as well-versed. Leading up to the Oscars, EW will tell you all about one often-overlooked category: Best Documentary Short. Come back each day this week for a look at one of the nominees, and impress your Oscar party with your knowledge when the category appears on Sunday’s broadcast.
Today: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life, directed by Malcolm Clarke
The real surprise of The Lady in Number 6 might be that Alice Herz Sommer’s story hadn’t been told before. A London concert pianist and oldest living survivor of the Holocaust, the film easily could have been depressing, but the optimistic Sommer’s account of her long, extraordinary life instead is at times thrilling, incredible, cheery and miraculous. The fact that at 109 she was still able to recall so many historical events and was willing to share her experiences is something to behold.
Director Malcolm Clarke’s interview with EW took place last week. Unfortunately, this past weekend Sommers passed away at the age of 110 — an inevitability Clarke knew he was facing when filming.
“We had to move very quickly, Clarke explained. “Alice was not young when I met her, I think she was 107 when I met her. Any 107 year old, even if they’re very healthy, they are clearly closer to the end of their life than the beginning of their life and so we wanted to get this woman on film while she was still healthy and sprightly and chipper. We did it as fast as we could. No one got paid, it was a labor of love for everyone, it was actually pretty much everyone who had worked on Prisoner of Paradise came back and gave their services, you know, gratis, so we could get the movie quickly and get her on film while she was still alive.”
Read on for more of EW’s Q&A with Clarke about the film. READ FULL STORY