In Episode 058 of the Pathway to Promise Podcast Dr. Brad Miller has a fascinating conversation with documentary filmmaker Ted Green of TedGreenfilms.com.
Ted Green is an award-winning filmmaker whose has created films which share stories of the triumph of the human spirit profiling people like Championship basketball coach John Wooden, Military Veterans and Eva Kor who survived terrible medical experiments as a twin by Dr Josef Mengele at the Auschwitz Concentration camp. It was Ted’s latest film about Eva which was the primary topic of this interview.
Ted tells Brad about what he looks for in a great story to tell on film. This includes the tension in the life of the subject which includes overcoming adversity experiencing a beautiful story arch with speaks to the hears of people. He goes on to share how important it is that the subject leaves an indelible impression on the people they influence in their life. Such was certainly the case in the story of Eva Kor the focus of Teds film “Eva:”
Eva Kor and her twin sister were separated from her mother at age 10 at the Auschwitz death camp and subject to unthinkable medical experiments by the “Angel of Death” Dr. Josef Mengele. Of 3000 twins experimented on Eva and her sister were among only 300 to survive the war.
Ted Green tells Eva’s story of survival of the death camp and then her incredible courage and perseverance to tell the story of the Josef Mengele twins and simultaneously led a worldwide manhunt for the doctor who authored such pain and death.
The most memorable part of the conversation about Eva was her decision to forgive Dr. Josef Mengele and the Nazi’s in 1995 which led to backlash and persecution in the aftermath of her decision to forgive.
it was the choice to finish with forgiveness which led to a life transformation for Eva which she shares with Ted Green in the film and which she teaches now to a generation of school children through an educational program based on the movie.
This is truly a story of life transformation through telling the story of forgiveness through Ted Greens film and in this fascination conversation he has with Dr. Brad Miller on this Episode 058 of the Pathway to Promise Podcast.
The mission of the Pathway to Promise Podcast is to help people overcome adversity and discover their promised life of peace, prosperity, and purpose.
Dr. Brad Miller
Brad Miller 1:17
My privilege today to have with us Ted green of Ted green films, who is a filmmaker of some really, really awesome films that have showed the human spirit in some really neat ways, shows how people have overcome great adversity will go, in one particular case about a woman who was in a Nazi concentration camp, and we’ll talk about her in just a minute. But, Ted, welcome to the pathway to promise.
Ted Green 1:42
Thanks, Brad. I really appreciate it. Thank you very much.
Brad Miller 1:45
Awesome. Well, you’re a great storyteller, and I enjoy your work. But you started off your storytelling in the newspaper business and somehow navigated to film but tell us a little bit about your story about how you got to where you’re at today.
Ted Green 1:57
Sure. And actually, I’ll start by saying that I still can consider myself a journalist, rather than a filmmaker, I’m just operating in a different medium now. But after college, and then I went to grad school in Chicago for journalism. And then I, I was going to be nothing but a sports writer, nothing else. That’s all I was going to be. And then I was sitting at home for maybe six months, striking out and every job opportunity and one popped up in a tiny little town in Florida, where I was going to be a news copy editor. And I was going to have no part of that. But my parents said, you’re out the door, you’re taking it and I said, Okay, I packed up my, my three fish into the U haul. And then I ultimately did end up on the sports side of things. And I was an editor and sports departments in various capacities for just about 20 years, mostly with the Miami Herald for five years after the Cincinnati Enquirer for three years. And then in 2001, shortly after my wife and I had our twins, were working the Miami Herald at the time. She got a job offer here in Indianapolis. And we’re both kinds of Midwesterners. And we, you know, we love South Florida, but we didn’t think that was maybe the best place to raise our kids and in our opinion, and so
Brad Miller 3:20
your kids were about how old at this time,
Ted Green 3:21
like they were three months old. We got the offer. And so why should say she got an offer, I didn’t get an offer. So and what that all amounted to is we moved to Indianapolis, where we’d never been before she started at the Indianapolis Star. And I ended up being a stay at home dad for three years, which time I wrote a novel, it’s sitting in my underwear drawer ever since. So it’s not published, no not published, I decided that I wanted to be William Faulkner. And I decided I need a little more work. I’ll jump ahead here. But so then I did. Ultimately, after the kids were old enough to go to preschool, I looked for a job and I got one at the star. So I started the star in 2004. And about 2009, I sort of moved over a little bit to the digital side of things. It was kind of a new at that time, at least in newspapers. And something happened. And that was that john wooden celebrated his 99th birthday, of course, john wooden, Indiana, legends national legend.
And I thought you know,
Brad Miller 4:30
and he was still living at the time. He was
Ted Green 4:33
still living. And I just thought, you know, I like to sort of plan ahead, and I believe in time pegs. And I thought,
you know we should, we should
plan for something truly special, if he, you know, makes it to 100. or, for that matter if the unfortunate case that he didn’t. And I thought well, what can we do? And I went through my old bag of tricks and didn’t find it was an old bag of tricks. And I thought, Well, how about like a five-minute video? How hard could it be? You know, I find a few old photos and string together some model and music and some bad narration and said there will be Piece of cake. Right? Well, I got so into what I wanted to focus on because everything’s been written about him about his time at UCLA. But as I researched it a little bit, there wasn’t that much on his years in Indiana, and he spent many, many years in Indiana is where he grew up. And he first started coaching, teaching and versus where he sort of developed his values that made him famous. And so I thought, wow, this is this is what I will focus on. And I started talking to people. And they started talking to me and opening up stories. And I was just kind of amazed by this about all that I was learning. And I was also amazed because I’d never done. You know, I was an editor, not a reporter. So I had done some interviews, I had a ton. I’ve never done it before on with video, where you can see the emotions and you know, almost like the look in the eyes is almost as important as what’s coming out of their mouths. And I just also a long way of saying that. And you’ll explain this itself, that the original five minute project, Boston ended up a 30 minute project. And the newspaper folks were like, What are you? What have you been doing on our time? Yeah, you know, it’s something he did back then certainly. And still even now you don’t see newspapers doing sort of 30 minute mini documentaries? Well, so I was sort of a pariah there for a bit. And then somebody suggested, well, why are you walking up the street to W FYI, that public station here in Indianapolis? I’d never been here. It was a complete cold call. I did send it in advance to the director of programming, Clayton Taylor, who says become a dear friend and and so he invited me in to talk about it. And he just said he kind of had a twinkle in his eyes. And you know, I think I know somebody who, who might get a kick out of this one should come with me. Walk me down on the hall. didn’t know where I was going next. And no, I mean, CEO and President Lloyd Wright’s office on his desk is a picture of himself. Arm in arm with john wooden.
Brad Miller 7:13
So you hit the right people at the right time
Ted Green 7:15
there indefinitely, baby. Yeah. Anyway, so what that resulted in was a 30 minute video that was and we sold a sponsorship that also now is very popular at the paper. But a 30 minute video is called a documentary on john wooden and I look back now and I almost cringe a little bit at the technical quality of it. Why was able to pretty it up quite a bit. But still, there’s only so much they could redo that I had already done sure. But nonetheless, that it spread, it got picked up by American Public Television, which is sort of the overall umbrella body over PBS member stations. And it played in you know, I think it was 180 markets around the country. And it wasn’t because of anything great I had done it was because of the topic. Certainly one of the first rules of I’ve learned as being a filmmakers, pick a good topic, take you a long way. But I sort of caught the bug with that with this great new way of storytelling and I’ve got to watch people react to it and get emotional and and so I just wouldn’t story it’s just not a basketball so I didn’t do a basketball Brian really I wanted to this is credible. Guys incredible. above all a teacher he would say more than a bad Yes,
Brad Miller 8:30
that was his day, wasn’t it?
Ted Green 8:32
He was a teacher and he got those values from his parents. And they’re they’re still there, buried down there outside Martinsville. And I just, there’s something hit me there’s a beauty to this that I had not experienced in all my time reporting on sports. Anyways, shortly after that, working alongside my great colleague, Don Mitchell, the librarian at the star, she she wanted to do a piece on military veterans. And we thought well, alright, we are we’re one for one. Let’s try something else. Okay. And then we did a piece on military veterans called Who’s your veterans, colon faces of war. And that we released that, again, timing on Veterans Day. Okay. And it was it was also popular is more local, because it was all Indiana so nationally, but at that point, the strength of those two you know, journalism was in the news still is newspapers at a tough time. Right. Now, as it turns out, my wife is now the sports editor at the star. Okay, somewhat ironically. But we sort of had a talk and we thought, you know, if ever I’m going to embark on something else, this might be the time. And so then I left the paper. And ever since then, why has been a wonderful partner of mine, David, let me hang my shingle here. And since then, I’ve done five more documentaries. And you know, the most recent one, the one you referred to earlier on Holocaust survivor, Eva,
Brad Miller 9:58
Eva core, but it may his story will get a little more details on that. But I’m interested you have described yourself as a storyteller, both in the sports world and on print medium. But how the fascination came to you be doing documentaries and seeing people observed and the topics there? What do you look for? Ted, in a great story? What are the elements of a great story that you want to tell on film?
Ted Green 10:23
You know, I think he probably no different than most storytellers in this way, you you the tension, the need overcoming adversity, he needed a beautiful story arc you need that can’t be perfect. It can’t be Hollywood. But it needs to speak to people. I can’t say that I started out saying this is what I’m going to do. But it has morphed into that. And I gave a speech the other day and for the Daughters of the American Revolution. Their statewide conference, noted that what I tried to do now, story is showing the triumph of the human spirit. That is something that I that is that is what I focus on. And I look back and even some of the early ones, I would say, show that even if it wasn’t necessarily my intention, and some of these have been rooted in sports. For instance, I did a couple I did one on Roger Brown, the very first Indiana Pacer Well, I am a storyteller. I’m also a story learner, what fascinated me there I was in a little project about the very beginnings of the Pacers. And I looked up in the was over at the arena and I looked up and I looked at the retired jerseys. And I would have been sworn that just because of all my background sports that I would know at least know who they were basically every retired jersey in all of the four major sports. And yet here I’m in Indiana, I didn’t even don’t even know who this guy Roger Brown is.
Brad Miller 11:52
You know, it seemed to be a very localized thing, really, but he was a tremendous impact. Oh, locally
Ted Green 11:57
experiment, but you know that the thing would be reason he wasn’t bigger. I mean, people like Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and others told me that he would have gone down as one of the greatest players ever. But he was caught up as a teenager, a very poor teenager in Brooklyn, in a gambling scandal that he actually had no part of, and that was more or less proven later. But because of that, and because of the NBA nine or 10 years earlier, had gone through a horrible gambling scandal. You were going overboard the other way he was banned by the league and kicked out of college, he lost his best years. And then he only got back into the game really because the Indiana Pacers have this new American Basketball Association. They heard about him and the advice of Oscar Robertson. You know, who grew up here in Indianapolis anyway, so he, you know, here Here he also he’s lost a lot of his best years but here he is with the Pacers. He comes back he leaves into three championships he actually becomes a City County Councilman for a bit you know, there is a lot to that story so so much more than sports and and also that and that resonated around the country. And that was picked up humbled to say that was picked up by ESPN classic for three years. Awesome. So that was human spirit. Do one on slick Leonard, after that Roger Browns coach grew up in a very difficult situation in Terre Haute, you know, with a relationship with his dad, that was not great. And you know, he is now become sort of a father figure for the whole state. I would say
Brad Miller 13:30
yeah, absolutely Beloved, beloved guy.
Ted Green 13:32
And then I’m sorry to keep listening these But
Brad Miller 13:35
well, with the best of what I’m after, or what I’m after here, Ted is you’ve talked about some fascinating figures. Yeah, whether all our listeners know it or not. They all have fascinating figures in their life or people they’re aware of, and your that who have overcome some major adversity at trafficking, human spirit, as, as you say, but what do you look for in these in these stories? What are some sparks you look for in these various stories that you want to you want to tell about the individuals now we’re about or the circumstances
Ted Green 14:02
and I can sort of determine, at least in my model, I determine a story early on, if it sounds looks good on paper, yeah, this has a lot to it. And then I interview people even just off the record, just sit down with them. And I can see in their hearing what they say and see in their eyes the effect that that person weathers Eva core, Roger brown or somebody involved with, you know, segregated Crispus Attucks high school, or john wooden, and you see, the tracks that they left the the influence that they’ve had over people, then you can start to say, wow, this is more than I bargained for. This is really something. Eva core.
Brad Miller 14:41
Yeah, because she’s the most fascinating figure. She’s a tremendous, fascinating figure. And if you just unpack her story a little bit for our audience, and then we’ll get into that,
Ted Green 14:49
okay. Well, you know, her Her story is she was a Mengele twin at Auschwitz. That is she was one of the twins who are experimented on by notorious not Dr. Josef Mengele, as he was trying to create the perfect race. He was trying to create perfect race. And so what that amounted to was when she and her family, they were the only Jews and one very small town of Romania, they were carted off to Auschwitz, dumped off on the selection platform with so many others. And in right there in the space of a few, like 30 seconds, she was separated, she and her twin sister were separated from the rest of the family who they never would see again. And you know, and definitely, they definitely died in the camp. And then so then little 10 year old Eva and her twin, for the next nine months were, were experimented on. They ended up surviving liberation, there were 3000 Twins that were experimented on total and about 200 survived. But since then, it’s been the surviving the surviving, as it gets put, sometimes she has lived a very, very, very difficult life, she ended up moving by sort of weird happenstance to Terre Haute, Indiana in 1960. And, and went through a lot. I’ll get to more on that, but what she’s become famous for. And this she did on the 50th anniversary of liberation, in 1995, she announced to travel back to Auschwitz to announce that she had forgiven the Nazis. And that made her a very, very controversial figure at the time, especially in the Jewish community, especially especially in this survivor, the Holocaust, sure community and she became really a pariah, in some ways, among her own people. And yet, now here she is, whatever it is almost 25 years later. And she is now a global ambassador, for forgiveness, for healing, for teaching she stands is, in my opinion, that the greatest example that I’ve ever encountered, the power of a single person has through through love, and will and determination to change the world.
Brad Miller 17:08
Yeah, the transformation is just amazing. Cuz she chose, in her own way, even as a 10 year old, and even as a 50 year old, 5050 year old, late 50s, Lady later on, to take some bold action and do whatever it took to survive, and to make an impact based on her. Her will and her her impetus that she had to make changes in herself and others. And I think it’s a little bit more about that about what are some bold actions that she took? Or maybe you took, or maybe some of your other characters in your films have taken? What are some, you know, bold actions that they took to kind of break a pattern in order to effect change?
Ted Green 17:48
Well, you look at what Eva did. And it’s almost hard to imagine, this is a woman live very modestly in Taro. And yet she she, I could say effectively, but I wouldn’t even say that she did. She managed to introduce the Mengele twins, which was here to for a hidden chapter of the Holocaust. She essentially introduced them to the world. And at the same time, she initiated what became at the time and still could be what initiated the time the biggest manhunt in history, trying to find Josef Mengele. I mean, this isn’t somebody either with a lot of
power base, or what a housewife
Brad Miller 18:31
in Terre Haute, Indiana, essentially, she was a
Ted Green 18:34
realtor, the time she’s raising two teenagers, a lot of this happened in the 1980s. And you know, she has a long story and in this in the film I did about her. So if anybody gets a chance to watch
Brad Miller 18:46
it, hopefully, we’ll put a link to your film and connects with your film in our in our show notes here.
Ted Green 18:51
Appreciate that. But she and I guess, I guess what I want to get at here is she’s been telling her story forever.
Right. But her story was always really totally in my opinion. So in the research I found in two of the three parts, part one and part three, part one was her time, and I which which talks about that a lot in her lectures. And part three would be her forgiveness and the reasons for it and what’s become of her sense, and how she’s helped so many people. But there’s 50 years in between there between 1945 liberation 1995 and asking forgiveness, and there was almost nothing about that. And she doesn’t speak about it. And it says a little more. Now, the film’s come out to speak about that in her lectures. And I use curious journalist to me saying, Well, what happened? She didn’t speak about it, because it was so painful for her because a lot of she went through so much in introducing the Mengele twins to the world in starting this man. I mean, she was also arrested in the US Capitol rotunda. She became I use the word prior earlier, she was not part of earlier. Just because of the way she protested and she raised her voice, and in sort of the flesh tone world,
Brad Miller 20:02
but she was pretty adamant, wasn’t she, I mean, she’s, she was kind of a paint a lot of people wasn’t a show she was and she was an and it’s
Ted Green 20:09
not not just that she was misunderstood. She was misunderstood. But she was also a pain in the butt. Yeah, very loud, and a very fierce, and because she was so filled with anger, and rage and confusion, because she trying to make sense of something you cannot make sense out. And she reached in and she’s a door. So she wants to
find wants to figure it out, wants to solve this
equation, and she couldn’t get there. So I really worked a lot. Why together and my co producer microphone, we worked a lot to mind del go into those 50 years. And in fact, we found that was the most regulatory part of all that it was those 50 years that led her ultimately, or plowed the field so that she could forgive. I think, essentially, she had to sort of get to the bottom. That’s where she got. But what’s so funny is to me interesting. We traveled the world with her 90,000 miles, two years, all the places the key places in her life, Auschwitz, Romania, Israel, whatnot. The biggest interview we had came in attic of her house and modest house in Terre Haute, because that’s where we wanted me to do an interview, that that’s where we’re just shooting her files. And I just got to talking to her. And, and I said, as the cameraman was doing, Mike was doing her stuff. And I said, you know, even the more I think about this, and when I learned about you, I just can’t imagine how alone You must have found. And that did it. Open. Wow opened up and I camera moment Mike was smart enough to turn the camera on her. And she knew we were filming here. So it was all aboveboard? Sure, but that’s why the interview and the film looks terrible, because we weren’t going to stop it and restage it with perfect lighting and clean everything up.
Brad Miller 21:55
The content was much more impactful than they did.
Ted Green 21:57
And it is opened up how lonely she was and how hard this was on her. And she showed her vulnerability in a way she never does in her lecture. And I remember walking out into the sunlight that day. And Adam street And Taro looking at Mike and we said, Wow, now we have a story. Wow, that’s awesome. That is what is that kind of thing that drives me with Crispus Attucks meeting people who went through just unbelievable racism and who had relatives killed because of it and, and, and to see the pride they have in this school that really was a game changer. In not just Indianapolis. But Indiana. Yeah, so all of that makes me you can get excited about it right now it makes you want to tell the story.
Brad Miller 22:43
That’s awesome, because you see how their lives changed, and the emotion that they have, and so on, but also the impact on others, which is why I’m really interested in how the stories of other folks who have gone through some adversity, you don’t get much more adverse than a Holocaust, or terrible racism and lynchings and so on. It’s that’s all pretty bad. But how they come out in Ava’s case, at least, with the theme of forgiveness, which is pretty amazing.
Ted Green 23:11
Yeah, absolutely amazing. And you know, there it is. Still, people still debate it. Sure how even her son wonders if it’s the right word, I wonder if it’s the right time. But what is about is self liberation, self empowerment, self healing. And she and she tells talks to students about this all the time is, no matter what
bad an unfair might have happened to you, you know, it’ll, it’ll hold you down. It’ll keep you down if you let it. Yeah, but you have the right, and the ability and the power within you, you really do to move past it. Yeah.
Brad Miller 23:41
Let me ask you this, it seems to me and working with people who make true life transformation, or stories and indicate true life transformation, there’s almost always an element where some people talk about something deeper or more greater than themselves a power outside themselves. For some people, let’s go for some people that may be something else, you know, meditation or so on. But what did you find in your subjects about anything along this line about how they would call upon some greater power in order to help them facilitate their change?
Ted Green 24:12
I find that a lot. And I think with Eva,
that’s good question. I think with Eva, a lot of it was her family was her mother, which we tried to make kind of a big part of the film. I mean, imagine she was, she never got to bury a family member. You know, these were her biggest influences. And she was she was torn away. And I know that it’s some of the hardest times of her life, she would look back and think what would what would mom do? Yeah. And
Brad Miller 24:42
you know, I understand she left her mom at 10 years old.
Ted Green 24:46
10 years old. I mean, yeah, I mean, that’s it is so hard for any of us to fathom. I don’t think we really can. Yeah.
But you know, and I, there’s also she has a really, really extreme sense of
justice in a way I remember. I remember her. Some people might remember that her Holocaust Museum candles, Holocaust Museum, and Taro and really, really a neat little, I call it a national gem right here and this date, that was burned by arson that was, you know, destroyed by arson. And she is talked about how more privately about how there was no Sure thing that she was going to rebuild that she had, she had had it she put so much into that so much of her own money. And it was very, very difficult for to envision starting all over again. And yet she finally made the decision one day that, but what if I don’t? What if I don’t? Yeah, I don’t.
That means these people when he wins, and
Brad Miller 25:42
what’s the message to other people? Or
Ted Green 25:45
what kind of example is that? You know, I think that either has a strong sense
of what, just human decency?
Yeah. And you know, for her,
I think that really drives her and teaching and teaching. Yeah, I mean, she heard she wants. She’s come to want her legacy to be all about teaching, and especially teaching
Brad Miller 26:12
young people. I’ve seen that into just being around her a couple times. But also, in your film and other stories I hear from her from my hometown of Terre Haute is that, you know, she really pours herself into into children. And
Ted Green 26:26
she does and in fact, that’s why instead of what I’m doing right now, instead of Brad normally would do just would be embark on a new film project. But we having seen her the influence the affect the I mean, I’ve sat down, I’ve been privileged to sit down from World Class athletes, Colin Powell, and all these people. But there’s nothing like sitting down across from a teenager who was ready to take his or her own life until they met Eva. Yeah. And talk to that’s,
Brad Miller 26:55
that’s transformational bound. Yes.
Ted Green 26:57
Right. And so that’s why we haven’t bought, instead of just jumping into another film, we’ve embarked on what we call our Eva Corps, outreach and education program. And we are now trying to take her message through various means into schools and libraries across the country, you know, via the success of the documentary, and it’s, and we’re going whole hog on this thing, and it’s just so heartening to see
Brad Miller 27:22
it work. And that’s part of the, the cause it carries on the end, about her teaching and her legacy, and seemed like all these folks, when they come to a life transformation moment, they don’t want to keep it to themselves, they want to share it, right. And that’s part of the storytelling as part of the fascination. And I think a part of that comes and see what you think Ted about, they just, they have gone through a period of time, this wilderness experience, where they’ve experienced whatever it is hate, destruction, racism, anti semitism, death, disease, depression, you know, medical experiments, in her case, rough stuff. And if you can get through that, and give yourself to others, then there’s got to be love involved. Oh, tell me about love and your experiences with these folks that you were talking about how that’s expressed to them, or maybe how the love of their family or others has been so influential, influential on them. But how’s love come to play here? I think love is
Ted Green 28:18
at the heart of it all. And I think that
love is at the heart of I would say all of I call them my films or not my films and why and Ted green together, but I think they’re at the heart of all of our collaborations, and it comes out in different ways, whether it’s service to country, you know, whether it’s love of family. with Eva, I will go so far as to say it’s a love of humanity. You know, speaking to what you you mentioned before, the way even looks at it is people can criticize her for promoting her forgiveness. The way she says sees is what this did for me was so monumental. And if you’re a doctor, and you come upon a cure for cancer, what do you do, you’re going to keep it all to yourself. You know, she, she wants to spread it as far as she can, what this forgiveness did for me, you know, at first, she was just talking about Holocaust. But then she experienced it working in other scenarios as well, people who have gone through all sorts of horrible things, whether it’s, you know, spousal abuse, or neglect, or where they would they would come to her and they would listen to her, and they would try it in their own lives. And it would work. And the more she saw that she saw, you know, we’re onto something here. This is a movement. And
I tell you what,
I guess I could be, I guess I could be accused of promoting her too much. I will say right now that she is no saint fact, she told me she said, Don’t make me into a saint. Don’t you worry. At the same time, I think that, on the other hand, she’s so unlike, perhaps a Mother Teresa, or I think you’re like that she’s she’s very she’s so human. Yeah, she’s beautifully human. She’s beautifully relatable. And people see the power and the strength, this one person, you know, to,
to change the
world. And she influences others, especially young people to do the same. And I think it does spring from
a love of humanity.
Brad Miller 30:35
Yeah. And that transformation takes place, not only because they were transformed, but also you you tell stories on the film, and I tell stories and audio and in print, as well, because they’ve done something to share that story. And I think it goes a little bit to discipline, self discipline and actions that they’ve taken to spread that word, too little about her perseverance and other things that she did, and maybe others did in order to have discipline to change.
Ted Green 31:02
Well, I mean, just a perseverance, you have to see it, which is, again, hard. I try to put myself there, you know, and especially you walk around Auschwitz, which I had occasion to do, I’m two different trips. And as it happens, I’m the father of twins. Oh, my goodness was not is I would call it, it was impossible for me not to look at it through that lens as well. But you know, this is there’s no adult around to tell these 10 year olds what to do or where to go. And you could look at it. Well, I lasted nine months. Well, they didn’t know it’s only going to last nine months. As far as sheets. She thought that was going to be the rest of her life. Yeah, of course. And it was it was a strict discipline. And it was a tough discipline. You couldn’t let yourself feel in some ways. Yeah, you just had to spend all of your time thinking about surviving, but I think that she thrilled she showed toughness, you know, all the way through. She came to Indiana in in 1960, as I said, and she went through really horrible anti semitism over there and terror, let’s face it, it was it was alive. And she fought through that and fought through that. And you know, then ultimately, she had, you know, she she, she said for five years, after she was determined she was going to make some sense of her life and introduce the Mengele twins and introduce all that happened to the world. She sent for five years, she said hundreds and hundreds of letters to every media imaginable, wow. And was completely ignored. And yet she kept going and kept going. Finally, she got a crack in the door. And that led to this, you know, global introduction. You know, she had the power, the strength and the courage, I would say, to forgive what many would call the unforgivable and then to stand up to just
from her. Some of her friends. You know,
Brad Miller 33:00
for as far as I know, for senior film, also pressure from governmental bodies and the public backlash and curse course racist groups, you know,
Ted Green 33:09
oh, yeah. I mean, it was you kind of have to see it to to understand
all she went through. And then she had the courage to forgive again, the unforgivable Yeah.
And then to end and there’s a stick through it, and backtrack there through the years. And ultimately, he she has the courage. She’s 85 years old. Now. She is not in the best health. Later this month, she’s going to lead to more tours to Auschwitz. Oh,
my goodness, she what she puts herself she will
Brad Miller 33:37
not give up physically, she
Ted Green 33:38
will. She will not stop. She talks about going to the 100th anniversary.
I wish wish liberation in 2045. At which point, I think I don’t know, she’d be 120
Brad Miller 33:50
years old like that, hey, you can’t put a password okay? No, I’m not gonna I’m not gonna get as much as anything.
Ted Green 33:57
She had the courage and toughness to open up to us,
Brad Miller 34:00
man. But tell me about that. Ted, how did? How did what you what did you learn from her? That changed you?
Ted Green 34:08
Oh, my gosh, I’m still I’m still learning lessons of resilience, principles
of love. And sticking to that. Why men I’m struggling to put into words here I am, I fancy myself a storyteller and I’m coming up empty. But it’s about her her power of resiliency, her power of just trying to do the right thing, knowing you’re not perfect. Her her willingness to show herself expose herself and all our vulnerability, warts and all, for the greater good of hoping to inspire and to teach lessons. That is that inspires me to know him. And the stuff that I try to teach my daughter’s not sure.
Brad Miller 35:01
But part of what I’m getting at is that transformation takes place from the witness of others can be transformative on us. And then we I believe are called to help be an influencer on others. And obviously, you have a medium of filmmaking, to help do that to be an influencer on others from value based films that you make. But I’d like you to tell me a story as we start to wind this up here in the next couple minutes about how you’ve seen the impact of what you’ve been working on on someone, someone else, not in your world of your office here. But I mean, when the film’s been shown or one of the schools or something. Tell me about a story where someone was impacted by your stories here. You can’t,
Ted Green 35:41
you can’t see the impact in the office. And I sometimes I’m forced to tell people in the office, this kind of thing as a way to justify the work that we do. You need to get out in the community. This is where the art, for lack of better word takes hold. I’m going to tell you the story. I’ll try to make it a quick one was, this isn’t this just came up the other day. And it was really, really moving. When there is a set of Mengele twins, who had lived in New York for a long, long time. And Eva was very close with them. They were very, very dear friends, their children dated each other. And that kind of thing. You know, they were based Mangle, the twins really did bind together, and then either announced her forgiveness. And it just drove them apart. They like so many other Mengele twins and other survivors just absolutely thunder and this was in 1995, she would reach out to them
Brad Miller 36:46
just too much for them to handle again. Yeah,
Ted Green 36:47
he’s couldn’t handle they were mad at her. How could they just forgive what killed our family? You know, and you
Brad Miller 36:54
understand to understand on many levels, no,
Ted Green 36:56
it completely is. And that’s one thing I really want to make a point of here. I am not advocating, I’m chronicling, but I’m fascinated by what I’m crackling. But this just the other day, I’m still kind of moved, as I talk about one of the twins, one of these twins that they had been, you know, estranged from for so long, called Eva, and said, I want to tell you two things. First, is that my twin died this morning. And the second thing is, I had a chance to watch the new film about you last night with my wife. And if I knew, then, what I knew now about what you went through, and what led to your forgiveness, I would have treated you so so
Brad Miller 37:44
Ted Green 37:46
And Eva was crying
when she reported that wow. And it you know, it wasn’t her son told me I should be proud of that. And that’s not what strikes me It always strikes me is why it’s so easy to miss judge people, you think you think you know them and their motivations for something. And in this case, it had these tragic consequences, you know, 24 years of lost friendship.
Brad Miller 38:10
But that’s kind of the payoff is an attempt to pay
Ted Green 38:11
off the paths also when you’re in when you’re in a school. And and we get these beautiful testimonials all the time from the students. And they’re just like that, just wow, what she went through, and she was able to look at her now. She was able to overcome that. I mean, you see something click with these students, we showed the film in the Pendleton juvenile Correctional Facility recently maximum, you know, security facility. And, and I didn’t know what to expect. And afterward in the discussion afterwards, you should and these were high school students,
Brad Miller 38:48
obviously, from rough backgrounds.
Ted Green 38:50
And I thought maybe they’d be solid, they weren’t sewing, they were moved by either story. And they want to do could do better things with their lives. It wasn’t just what they said to us in the discussion afterward, their teacher got in contact with us out of the blue and explained all this to us. That’s the power that either has. And I feel like I have the best job in the world. Because what do I get to do? I get to illuminate these people. Who are these life changes,
society changes, and I get to do that. That’s awesome.
Brad Miller 39:22
So yeah, and that’s the payoff. I think that’s what I like to call it my thinking in writing the promise life where you have a place of peace, you got a purpose, you’ve got something that’s, you know, fulfilling you fulfilled, but then that that’s awesome. But then what are you working on now in particular, I would like to highlight which we’re working on is some of the stories and educational materials that you’re working on.
Ted Green 39:44
Right now, as I said that the main focus, I mean, there’s other things that are I hit with ideas all the time. And there’s a couple pretty big projects that I’m toying around with and hoping I can become a part of. But right now, really, my focus is on this either outreach and education program, because it is working, we have developed an educational tool kit, which consists of a shortened version of the film, which in which some of the, you know, the more graphic imagery is taken out. And we you know, we vetted this with teachers and other educators to make sure this is appropriate that we are spreading around this toolkit, shortened version of the film, her young adult book, which is fabulous, called surviving the age of death and an educators guide. And this guide is not about Holocaust education, per se, because there’s a lot of wonderful Holocaust education out there. This instead is about Eva’s 12 life themes, inclusiveness, acceptance, hope, forgiveness, empathy, moral courage, this kind of thing. stuff that we believe there’s a lot
Brad Miller 40:47
more important values,
Ted Green 40:49
vagary and theorem you know, if your life and we are gaining wonderful traction with that is a grassroots movement. But again, because the film has been pretty popular, it’s showing now in 45 states and through PBS members stations, and they’re all about community engagement. That’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to get that community engagement, particularly into schools. And with this educational tool kit, we’re now our new frontier is virtual reality, which I’d never heard of about six months ago, old dog that I am. But it immerses students into Eva’s time where they get a 360-degree sense of what she went through
Brad Miller 41:29
is not the game I bet the kids particularly love that
Ted Green 41:31
they do. And their teachers say that the they get more out of that, then they would through other teaching methods because it does put them there, you have to be careful that they don’t get blown away by the technology. And it just our thing is a game thing. A game show. It’s not but we how we do our education is that we you know, we have a discussion with them beforehand, and they watch the film before so they appreciate. And they started feel like oh my gosh. And we want to finish not just what she went through. But to finish on her forgiveness and what that healing and self liberation has done for her and others. And teachers are raving about what it’s doing for their students. So I can think of nothing I can think of anything more, in my opinion, you know, sort of noble or needed, then to take this amazing Hoosiers messages and spread them as far as we can.
Brad Miller 42:26
And to what I like what you just said, to get these materials out so people can finish with forgiveness.
Ted Green 42:32
And that’s that’s the key. We obviously don’t just go through the office to see the transformation. Yeah. Because what she shows is what’s possible. Elliott Gould is quoted in the film is she Eva core is sort of a lesson and what’s what’s possible in the human condition, revelations what he said, and that’s what I found. And that’s why I feel privileged beyond words, to be able to be involved in this practice
Brad Miller 42:59
has been a privilege to hear you share these stories today and to see how transformation taking place in your life that has also been played out and telling the stories of transformation and others and hopefully that and hopefully not hopefully, but it is now an impact on others to transform their lives for the better. So we thank you, Ted green for being with us today on the pathway to promise
Unknown Speaker 46:42
she’s a Twitter monster.
Unknown Speaker 46:45
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
The post PTP:058. “Finish with Forgiveness” with Filmmaker Ted Green appeared first on The Forty Day Way w/ Dr Brad Miller.