The Starfish is the untold story of a man’s struggle to not only succeed, but to accept himself and his circumstances during one of the most infamous periods of history—where it took sacrifice, courage, and at times the open hearts of others to survive. Herb’s tenacity, dedication, and determination to become something in the face of so many obstacles, is what makes his ultimate legacy a testament to the American Dream.
Herb’s family would not have been able to escape Germany and ultimately reconnect in the United States had it not been for the efforts of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. HIAS remains dedicated to providing welcome, safety and freedom to refugees of all faiths and ethnicities from all over the world.
The documentary is directed and produced by New York Emmy Award-winning Executive Producer Tyler Gildin, Herb’s grandson. Through a series of sit down interviews with Herb and other members of the family, as well as archival photos and footage, Tyler is able to uncover his grandfather’s remarkable story as well as shed further light on a period in history that he believes his generation doesn’t discuss enough. The Starfish is a reminder of the importance of generosity and the idea that if you save one life, you’ve made a world of difference.
The film made its world premiere at the Miami Jewish Film Festival in January of 2019. It’s since been screened at the Maryland International Film Festival and the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.
Completion Date: November, 2018
Runtime: 39 minutes