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Free Public Screening Of Penn State Professor’s Film, ‘A Wing And A Prayer’

Students have the opportunity to attend a free screening of College of Communication professor and senior lecturer Boaz Dvir’s hour-long documentary titled “A Wing and a Prayer,” a film about the untold story of World War II aviators. The documentary, which was written, directed, and produced by the Dvir, aired on PBS in April and has since flourished. The screening will take place Wednesday, Oct. 21 in the Paterno Library’s Foster Auditorium at 6:30 p.m., and will be followed by a discussion session.

The film features Adolph Schwimmer and Sam Lewis, pilots who risked their lives in 1948 in an effort to prevent another world war. Radio operator Eddie Styrak reveals gripping stories of prison escapes and saving Jewish lives during the Holocaust. Dvir’s film tells the story of these men who fought for freedom but gained no recognition.

American Public Television, which hosts shows airing the film on PBS, describes the documentary and gives viewers some insight: “Schwimmer and his crew of pilots smuggled 12 million dollars’ worth of World War II surplus rifles, machine guns, bullets, and planes into ill-equipped Israel just as the 1948 Arab-Israeli War broke out. Schwimmer’s group – made up of Jews and non-Jews – eluded the FBI, outsmarted the U.S. State Department and created fictitious airlines to help the Israeli army ward off attacks from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Egypt.” Dvir learned more about World War II by interviewing his grandfather who is a Holocaust survivor, which helped him in creating the film.

More than 150 PBS stations across the country have aired the documentary, and many plan to continue to show it over the next few months. The public screening is being sponsored by the Penn State Student Film Organization and Penn State Libraries.

About the Author

Claire Going

Claire is a freshman broadcast journalism major and writer for Onward State. She enjoys reading, running, and a good cup of tea. She's from Emmaus, Pennsylvania and is a dual citizen. (Go Ireland!) You can contact her via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @claire_going.

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