Dianella: Carmel School hosts film producer Nancy Spielberg


Carmel School head girl Rachel Hertzman, producer Nancy Spielberg and head boy Jacob Posel. Picture: Kristie Lim
Carmel School head girl Rachel Hertzman, producer Nancy Spielberg and head boy Jacob Posel. Picture: Kristie Lim

FILM producer Nancy Spielberg has bravely capped of her first trip to Perth with an inspiring presentation for future filmmakers at a Dianella school, just three weeks after her mother passed away.

The 60-year-old is the younger sister of renowned director Steven Spielberg and is best known for her 2014 documentary feature Above and Beyond and television show, Elusive Justice: The Search for Nazi War Criminals.

Spielberg’s visit to Carmel School in Dianella this morning, was the last leg of her Australian tour as part of the United Israeli Appeal.

She said she enjoyed “connecting” with the students at the event.

“I was raised with a mum that thought she was Peter Pan and taught us that ‘grown up’ is a dirty word…she always kept this child-like attitude,” she said.

“We were so attached to our mum… it has actually been so cathartic to talk about my mum in the speeches.

“It benefited me to share what a unique mum she was and how she had that rule book that my brother won’t be my brother and I would not have ventured into what I did.”

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Spielberg said she incorporated her experience in producing Above and Beyond, which featured interviews with pilots from the 1948 Palestinian War.

“First of all, trying to explain a little bit about Israel’s creation and the support that came from abroad to help Israel,” she said.

“(I) also encouraged the kids to take their own cameras and to interview grandparents or elderly people in their 80s or 90s who all have great stories to tell but nobody wants to listen half the time.

“These things need to be recorded so that they can be passed on… so, I would like them all to go out and be filmmakers.”

Spielberg said young people had to face many challenges with a rise in anti-semitism.

“I am sort of surprised that I even have to say that because I thought I grew up with some but then I thought things were better,” she said.

“So, it is tough times for a lot of people in general for Jews and non-Jews; there is just a lot of intolerance.

“I think the key thing is to try and stay open minded to other people and their differences.”

Spielberg said the Perth community had been very welcoming during her trip where she delivered several speeches and visited the Caversham Wildlife Park.

“I have not had too much downtime to go cry in a corner but I said I have a good 15 hour flight back to Los Angeles, so I will cry for seven,” she said.

“It has really been a wonderful trip and I think that people kept me from falling into that sad place because everybody is so friendly here.”

She said she was working on a new feature film and continuing with her ongoing work, Who Will Write Our History.