UnBroken- A Remarkable Film

Weber Siblings
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Full disclosure-

It was in 2008 when my good friend invited me to join her at a talk given by a her school school friend. Ginger Lane would be sharing her story of having survived the holocaust along with her six older siblings with the aid of a German couple. Listening to her remarkable story, I kept thinking this amazing tale was worthy of a movie. I was clearly not alone in that thought. Ginger Lane’s daughter, Beth Lane, has, in fact, created a film that exceeds any fantasy I had! UnBroken is NOW being shown at film festivals around the country. You will not want to miss it!

Beth Lane kindly agreed to answer questions about how the movie came to be and more.

New York, New York -March 28, 2019. Portrait of Beth Lane photographed in Manhattan. CREDIT: Chad Batka

What was the spark that ignited your search into the background of your mother’s family?

When I was six years old I learned my mom was adopted.  I was the same age she was when she came to America.  I don’t believe she told me anything about the Holocaust at that time or how her mother died, but I did learn that Mom had six siblings whom I would never, ever meet.  So like any kid, when someone tells you that you can’t have something, you want it even more.  I don’t know why I wanted to meet Mom’s six siblings, but I did have the mind of a six year old, the curiosity of an actress and the daydreaming powers that never left me.  I wanted to meet them one day.  Many years later, Mom reunited with her six siblings and one of them, my Uncle Alfons, wrote a 40 page summation of his memories in honor the the 50th anniversary of their arrival in America.  I also think that whenever anyone asks the question, “whom would you most like to have dinner with, past present or future…” I would always answer either Queen Elizabeth I, my legal name is Elizabeth, or Lina, my biological grandmother who was murdered at Auschwitz on Dec 1, 1943 at 11:35 in the morning.   Lina was, of course, Jewish, but she was part of the resistance and worked with the underground in Berlin. She would help smuggle other people out of Germany by securing visas and passports for them.  Why she couldn’t manage it for her own family I can’t say.  But as my Aunt Ruth extols in our film, “UnBroken,” “she believed that if you help others you help yourself.”

Beth and Marlis

How did you begin working on the movie that became “Unbroken”?

I was enrolled at UCLA in the school of theater film and television and I wanted to become a professor.  I love teaching and I love acting so it felt like a perfect fit.  However, in between my second and third year of graduate school my Mom, Dad, sister and I went to Berlin and out to Worin, the town where my mother was hidden for two years during the Shoah.  We toured the farm where Mom and her siblings spent their time in a laundry hut, where they ate raw potatoes from the ground, where they endured things I can’t even imagine.  I made a vow on that trip to make a film to celebrate the courage and bravery of The Weber Siblings but also to shine a light on the good citizens along the way who helped them survive. I came back to campus after that trip and started pounding on all the documentary film professors’ doors begging to be allowed to take their classes.  Fortune had it that my schedule allowed me to enroll, the professors were very welcoming – you see I was a theater MFA candidate, not a film candidate… but they truly helped me in so many ways – there would be no film without the leadership from those documentary film professors at UCLA.

Did the making of the movie impact the relationship of the families?

Interestingly, I think it has.  One of my cousins who was raised Catholic is converting to Judaism.  That is certainly not the goal of the film, but she fell in love with a Jewish man so I think knowing more about her heritage and legacy has given her the confidence to make such a decision.  One of my Aunts is a bit of an outlier and has never told her children anything about the war years.  I think this story has given that family in particular a deep and profound respect for what their mother endured and perhaps a new understanding as to why she has been so quiet about it all these years.

What has been most difficult in creating the movie?

Oh wow – that’s a really difficult question to answer because everything about it has been difficult.  Everything!  As a first time filmmaker, you truly don’t know what you don’t know.  So learning on the job, while being the team leader, has been especially challenging.  It’s a good thing I’m an actress because the adage “fake it til you make it” has stood me well.  But, I raised three kids and nothing is harder than that – that’s learning on the job for sure!  Fundraising has been the most exhausting – my friends and family have been exceedingly generous and supportive, but I want to keep them around, so I can’t keep going back to the well.  I’m sorry to say that all of the obvious funding organizations have turned us down and that has been discouraging to say the least.  From an artistic perspective, the most difficult aspect was probably creating the animated sequences.  I love how the animation has turned out and it is worth every moment of agony creating it.

What has been most rewarding about completing the film so far?

No question, my family’s response to it has been rewarding.  Our story secured the very best sales team in the business and it’s an honor to be on their roster.  People tell us over and over again that our film is “evergreen” meaning it’s a “must watch” and encompasses themes of humanity, inspiration and motivation. I  couldn’t ask for a higher compliment.  I am very proud that I made a film that speaks to everyone in that it is not a “Holocaust film” rather it is a film that is told through the lens of the Holocaust.”  To me there’s a big difference.  

What are your hopes for the future of the film and of  the Weber Family Arts Foundation, the not-for-profit entity established to combat antisemitism, bigotry and hate?

I hope UnBroken reaches audiences far and wide.  Bias and prejudice have to be taught and I also believe that bravery and courage can also be taught.  So, the purpose of the film is to truly give the viewer an opportunity to strengthen the muscles of compassion and hope.  These qualities, just like muscles, need to be honed and strengthened on a frequent basis.    If you don’t have role models in your life who have demonstrated these qualities then you can still learn them somewhere else.  I hope that “UnBroken” is somewhere else.  I’ve established the Weber Family Arts Foundation for a few reasons.  The first reason is that when it’s your own family’s story, the idea of making a profit for personal gain off of their harrowing experiences, is contrary to how I was raised.  I believe in paying it forward.  This enterprise is my “Tikkun olam” which is Hebrew for “repairing the world.”  So all future profits made from the sale of the film, and let’s all send out giant good vibes that we make a robust sale (!), will be funneled into the WFAF. The other reason I established the Weber Family Arts Foundation was so that eventually I can give seed money to the next artist who wishes to make a creative contribution to the world.  I hope we fund dancers, painters, storytellers of any kind, singers… their mission must be aligned with ours and that is to tell stories that combat antisemitism, bigotry and hate through stories of hope.  And that’s the most important aspect to our mission.  The stories must be told through the lens of hope.  The stories must offer the audience a chance to connect with their own inner wellspring of compassion, dignity and resilience. 


Thank you for considering WFAF in your charitable giving plans.DONATE Join our family. Eradicate anti-semitism through the arts. Hope is the strategy!

We are thrilled to have our West Coast Premiere at the 24th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival on Friday October 13th!

Friday, October 13th @ 7:45 PM at Starlight Triangle Theatre Costa Mesa, CA Q & A with Beth Lane to follow
Tuesday, October 17th @5:15 PM at The Lot 7 Theatre Newport Beach, CA Q & A with Beth Lane to follow

To purchase tickets for the West Coast Premeire of UnBroken



Friday, October 13 at 7:45 PM | Triangle 5

Q&A to follow with Director Beth Lane and Editor Aaron Soffin 


Tuesday, October 17 at 5:15 PM | The Lot 7

Q&A to follow with Director Beth Lane and Jordanna Gessler (Holocaust Museum LA)

Tickets can be purchased online here 




UnBroken WON!!!
Best Documentary Feature Premiere
at Heartland International Film Festival 

Sunday, October 8 at 2:30 PM | Glendale Landmark Theater 12

Saturday, October 14 at 12:00 PM | Glendale Landmark Theater 10

Sunday, October 15 at 12:15 PM | Emagine Noblesville Theater 15

Q&A with Director Beth Lane, Executive Producer Joel Moody and Producer Doug Prochilo immediately following film

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Friday, October 13th @ 7:45 PM at Starlight Triangle Theatre Costa Mesa, CA Q & A with Beth Lane to follow
Tuesday, October 17th @5:15 PM at The Lot 7 Theatre Newport Beach, CA Q & A with Beth Lane to follow

To purchase tickets for the West Coast Premeire of UnBroken

Movie Poster



  1. What an important project for so many reasons, not the least of which is Tikkum olam.
    Thank you so much for sharing this and creating awareness.

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