Tromsø is a peaceful little town in the Arctic. The people who live here are known to be open- minded and hospitable. And they like to socialize. You easily make friends with them. But if you ask them what happened during the war, to the Jewish families that lived here, they all become silent. And if you ask them why this was the first place where Jews were arrested, they all become silent. And they still are today. Nobody tells it to their children, nobody tells it in school. No book says anything about it, no local newspaper. So it was a big shock for the middle aged director Erik Smith Meyer when he by coincidence learned that his great-grandfather, was the major of Tromsø, and a Nazi. Why had nobody told him? (70 years had passed since the war ended).

When he turns to his family, and to his friends, they are all quiet. The town is still quiet. The fact is, that in Tromsø, lived the northern most Jewish colony in the world, consisting of 7 families. They were well integrated in the city life, culture, sport and business, after escaping from terror in Russia and estern Europe 30 years before. The Nazis managed to not only erase them, but also the memory of them. In Norway we have a saying: ”hidden, but not forgotten” meaning that we shall not speak unnecessary about thing that happened during the war, but we shall learn from them. Now we must ask: Have we learned from them? Do they not happen again? (The international news is not to comforting in this matter).

So the big question arises: Have we hidden it to well? Must we break the silence to prevent it from happen again in our peaceful little town, (and in other silent towns around the world?)

We aim to create a holistic concept where film, book, exhibition, and interactive universe together communicate the thematic better, and to a larger audience, than traditional media alone. We want to work transparently and in dialogue with the users through development, production and distribution.

Through breaking the silence we are inspired to withstand this kind of injustice. What would you do if 30 Facebook-friends suddenly disappeared?

You can watch the trailer and buy the film here:

When The Town Went Quiet from Jabfilm on Vimeo.