Raise the Roof

About The Film

An international team chases an improbable dream to reconstruct one of the magnificent lost wooden synagogues of Poland in RAISE THE ROOF.

These architectural marvels originated in the small 18th century town of Gwoździec. Inside the complex log structure, the prayer hall was elaborately adorned with Hebrew inscriptions and brightly painted animals. Eventually more than 200 of these unique wooden synagogues dotted the countryside, until the Nazis burned every last one to the ground. Though neither Jewish nor Polish, two former University of Georgia students mastermind a remarkable effort to rebuild this architectural wonder. Boston-based artists Rick and Laura Brown recruit hundreds of craftsmen, students and other volunteers to their cause. Employing old tools and artisanal techniques, the team sets about recreating the synagogue’s timber-framed roof and intricate mural designs. Despite seemingly impossible deadlines, hammering downpours and exhaustion, a profound relic slowly rises from the ashes.

Beautiful to behold and buttressed by traditional klezmer melodies, RAISE THE ROOF is an inspiring story of how combined talents in art and science brought back to life an artifact lost to history.

Film Details

Running Time 
84 minutes
Viewing Region 
World Premiere