We had the opportunity to attend a screening of the movie Ahead of Time. This movie is a documentary of the life of Ruth Gruber. AHEAD OF TIME, the directorial debut of award-winning cinematographer Bob Richman (An Inconvenient Truth, The September Issue, My Architect) tells the remarkable journey of American writer and journalist Ruth Gruber, who will turn 99 years old on September 30th. Gruber, born in Brooklyn in 1911, was the youngest person in the world to receive a PhD at the age of 20, a feminist before feminism. While at school in Cologne, she witnessed the rise of Nazism and began documenting her observations. A trail-blazer who rejected the gender standards of her generation, she became a full-time journalist at the age of 24, traveling to the Soviet Arctic in 1935 as the first reporter in the region and beginning an illustrious career with the New York Herald Tribune.
Gruber’s involvement in the events surrounding WWII gives her a unique perspective of last century’s most defining events, including the establishment of the State of Israel. In 1944, she became more then a witness; enlisted by the Roosevelt administration to secretly escort one thousand refugees from Naples to New York on the ship Henry Gibbins. Gruber forever altered the lives of each refugee, including AHEAD OF TIME executive producer Doris Schechter, who was five years old at the time. Gruber covered the Nuremberg trials in 1946 and reported on the British attack of the ship Exodus outside Haifa Harbor. Her photos, published around the world, helped change world opinion toward the Jewish refugees and their quest for a Jewish state.
Never losing her tenacity and verve Gruber went on to publish 19 books and receive Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Overseas Press Club, National Jewish Book Awards and the National Coalition Against Censorship among many others. In October, The Norman Mailer Center will present Ruth with the Distinguished Humanitarian and Journalism Prize. AHEAD OF TIME weaves vérité footage with interviews and never seen before archival material. The film premiered at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival before embarking on a successful festival run. It won BEST DOCUMENTARY at the Berkshires International Film Festival and
other festivals included Sarasota Film Festival, Full Frame Documentary Festival and the Haifa Film Festival among others, including many Jewish film festivals around the world.
AHEAD OF TIME is directed by Bob Richman and produced by Zeva Oelbaum. The film is edited by award winning editor Sabine Krayenbuehl, (My Architect, Mad Hot Ball Room) and executive produced by Patti Kenner, Doris Schechter and Denise Benmosche.