Picking Up at Auschwitz (2012)

“Based on a true story”

In November 2010 Moccasin filmmakers Gregory Erdstein and Alice Foulcher travelled to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Museum in Oswiecim, Poland.

They were both struck by the strange dichotomy of one of history’s most horrific massacre sites now functioning as a tourist destination. Of particular note was the the behaviour of a young Norwegian woman in their tour group. She carelessly took photos of everything — including in areas where photography wasn’t permitted (e.g. a room of human hair recovered from Holocaust victims). While waiting for the bus back to Kraków, a young man travelling on his own from New Zealand confessed that during the tour the woman had also asked for his phone number.

“Is that appropriate?” he asked Erdstein and Foulcher.

PICKING UP AT AUSCHWITZ attempts to answer his question.

Watch the film

We shot this film in an hour-and-a-half using a roll and a bit of 16mm film with just Janine and Alice, Director of Photography Ryan Alexander Lloyd, sound recordist Ariel M. Shaw and myself (Gregory Erdstein). We would have shot for longer but Ryan had to go to work.


St. Kilda Film Festival, Melbourne 2012

Official Selection

SBS Shorts on Screen
Flickerfest International Film Festival 2013
Byron Bay International Film Festival 2013
St. Louis International Film Festival 2012
Chicage International Reel Shorts Film Festival 2012
Melbourne Underground Film Festival 2012


Starring: Janine Watson and Alice Foulcher
Logline: History is written by losers.
Synopsis: Lou has an awesome story about Auschwitz.
Running time: 3 minutes
Completion Date: January 2012
Language: English
Subtitles Available: English/French/German/Polish
Genre: Satire
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen F.H.A.
Shooting Format: Super 16mm Film
Exhibition Format: HD Cam
Country: Australia