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"I shall not be silent" documentary of Joachim Prinz and the Civil Rights movement played in the Bear Cave

Prinz gave speeches among other Civil Rights leaders during the 1960's. Prinz would also partake in protest, often leading to arrests. (Jewish Historical Society of New Jersey/image)

Prinz gave speeches among other Civil Rights leaders during the 1960's. Prinz would also partake in protest, often leading to arrests. (Jewish Historical Society of New Jersey/image)

Rachel Fisher is a documentary producer and filmmaker. One of her works tells the story of Joachim Prinz and his works in Civil Rights. The film is titled “I shall not be silent” and was recently played for an audience in the Bear Cave.

 Prinz is best known for his work with Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. King was recently honored at Northern with a statue to acknowledge his 50th year anniversary since his speech on campus. King and Prinz are both celebrated for their leadership and works towards civil rights.

The film of Prinz’s work covers his escape from Germany during World War II and how he related Black segregation to Jewish segregation in Germany. Prinz spent a majority of his life protesting bigotry and hatred in America during the 50’s and 60’s.

The film was in production as a nonprofit production and required seven years of production time. Fisher attributed the time span to the budget of the film constantly being used up for production. The production team had to constantly halt production until donations or grants could be gathered to continue funding the project. 

The film cost us around $400,000 to make and we started production in 2008 or 2009.”

Every second of archived historical footage also cost a pretty penny. According to Fisher, the historical footage would be an average of $30 per second.

Fisher claimed that there were areas of Prinz’s work that were not covered in the film. The film’s runtime would have become about three hours if it had just made a dent in the total work Prinz completed for Civil Rights.

We initially wanted the film to have no narration. Although, we felt like this would make the film hard to interpret.”

Prinz, compared to King, is a lesser-known leader of Civil Rights. His works gave Americans a perspective of how their treatment of Blacks was similar to the treatment of Jews by Nazi Germany. This quickly gave the Civil Rights movement some momentum. Arguably, the momentum it needed to become a successful movement.