Spielberg doc screening at Air Force Museum offers perks for daughter of WWII airman

  • May 1, 2015 1:53pm GMT

Film fans familiar with the biography of Steven Spielberg are well aware that he credits his interest in flight and storytelling fascination with war to his father, Arnold, who served as decorated radio operator on B-25’s in the China-Burma-India Theatre of WWII. So it should not be a surprise that Steven’s youngest sister, a documentary producer, found inspiration in the stranger-than-fiction adventures of American volunteer pilots who flew and fought for Israel in its 1948 War of Independence. The result was “Above and Beyond: The Birth of the Israeli Air Force”, directed by Roberta Grossman, which premiered in July of 2014 (See my July 9, 2014 post).

Last night, April 30th, Nancy screened “Above and Beyond” for nearly 300 patrons in the Air Force Museum giant screen theatre. The event was produced by the Dayton Jewish International Film Festival in partnership with Reel Stuff Aviation Resources, and sponsored by the Levin Family Foundation. In the Q&A session afterward, Nancy aptly described the film as resembling a real-life cross between Steven’s Band of Brothers, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Catch Me If You Can. She also proudly announced that her film, recently made available on iTunes, had been ranked at #4 by iTunes that very day. Meanwhile, it will continue to wow audiences on the film festival circuit, while Reel Stuff eyes select, prominent aviation venues for additional screenings by Nancy or her director.

Given her Spielberg DNA, Nancy took full advantage of her Dayton visit to tour both Air Force Museum’s Holocaust exhibit and the extensive WWII Gallery. Among aircraft of particular interest were examples of several key types seen in her film, including the museum’s authentic Bf-109G – not the Czech-built S-199 version with a Jumo engine that the Israeli pilots generously dubbed the “Mule”. The Spitfire, C-46 and B-17 also factor in to the film’s story. Nancy also delighted in seeing and having her photo taken with the Doolittle Raiders exhibit B-25D (restored to resemble a B-model), an earlier variant of the type on which her Dad, now 98, served.

For more info on the film and schedule of future screenings, visit www.aboveandbeyondthemovie.com.