Copyright 2023 WPVI-TV. Director: Sasha Joseph Neulinger This week, our community is mourning the loss of Jonah Anschell. SPRING LAKE TWP. His Uncle Larry Nevison was sentenced to 14-22 years in prison, and served 11 years. I built a loving and respectful relationship with myself and reclaimed ownership of my life and it feels absolutely amazing!. He has created a documentary in the hopes it will inspire other victims to come forward. Whats worse, Sashas family almost seemed to be normalizing the abuse he and his sister were enduring. Simi Horwitz is a New York-based award-winning feature writer/film reviewer. It was traumatizing, and tiring, he said. Executive producers: Cindy Meehl, Thomas Winston A Man Who Was Sexually Abused By His Uncles As A Child Is Making A Documentary That Will Change Lives! In fact, a Reform rabbi spelled it out to Neulinger, asserting the movie would only succeed in hurting Jews. I struggled with what public disclosure would do for me. You know, it was incredibly emotional to watch that footage, to see an innocent child who has a zest for life and to watch that child to watch myself lose that light. Sasha Neulingers childhood pain still lingers. One of Sasha's alleged abusers was his uncle, Howard Nevison, the esteemed cantor at New York's Reform Jewish Temple Emanu-el. Cantor Howard Nevison pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of indecent assault, terroristic threats, simple assault, corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of children. Throughout their interactions, the son is mostly silent as his mother remembers what he did and said during those years, and how he gradually made it known that someone had touched him sexually. Filmography. Sasha Joseph Neulinger is the co-founder and head of production at Step 1 Films. All rights reserved. And as the film progresses, the more we similarly notice the carefully concealed agony being endured, and villainy being perpetrated, off-screenspied in a childs sorrowful eyes, inappropriately sexualized dance, and frantic outburst, or in a grown mans hair-ruffling gesture or toothy grin. After Sasha Joseph Neulinger finished film school at Montana State University, he discovered the raw materials that would propel him to tell the extraordinary story of his life. After 13 years of fighting to get my life back, the war was finally over, he said. Its been a real journey for me as a survivor, but also as a human being, Neulinger told a packed ballroom at the Spring Lake Country Club on Friday afternoon during a fundraiser for Hollands Ed and Nancy Hanenburg Childrens Advocacy Center. Neulinger had learned that his Uncle Larry, father and others were sexually abused. 3 Photos. Seeking justice in the courts required an endless series of painful interviews and years of legal procedure. Viewers who think they understand things at this point will likely be very wrong, as many of this storys characters were similarly abused. As the camera focuses in on the smiling and playful antics of Sasha's larger-than-life uncle's Larry and Howard, a more sinister reality begins to unravel. REWIND had its world premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. I was unwilling to make my entire young life about prosecution. But there has to be some separation, right? Henrys older brothers one of whom, Howard Nevison would go on to become a renowned opera singer and well-respected cantor at a high-profile synagogue became abusers; and abuse breeds more abuse. reframes the perspective on traumatic events from Sashas childhood, this time placing him in control of the camera, firmly at the helm of his own narrative. Unflinching and uncompromising, Rewind is a documentary that isn't afraid to dive deep into the issues of abuse and trauma that it explores across its relatively brief 80 minute runtime as documentarian and main subject Sasha Neulinger delves into his own childhood and his families horrific experiences that spanned generations. Digging through the vast collection of his father's home videos, a young man reconstructs the unthinkable story of his boyhood and exposes vile abuse passed through generations. Each step is something to build on. After premiering at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival to critical acclaim, Rewind, a documentary about surviving abuse both by family members and the justice system that required that he relive the trauma for years afterward, makes its television debut on Monday on PBS Independent Lens. The Filmmaker Sasha Joseph Neulinger is the co-founder and head of production at Step 1 Films. In that regard, Rewind delivers in spades. Documentary Biography Drama. We learn Henrys mother ridiculed and emasculated her husband and children, having zero patience emotionally. Neulinger has become an inspirational motivator who inspired the creation of a child advocacy center, Mission Kids. But I do really love filmmaking. Unfortunately, that joy and happiness was violently interrupted.. "You were trying to jump out of a moving car. Sasha Neulingers documentary is as affecting as they come, both for its portrait of unthinkable horrors perpetrated against the weak and defenseless, and for its optimism that healinghowever arduously attainedis possible. ), A former child actor whose credits included Shallow Hal and Unbreakable, Neulinger lived in Rosemont and attended Gladwyne Elementary School until moving to Allentown at the age of 10. It was something that became intrusive to me, because it was constant and it felt to me like I lost my husband. Hes not only an inspiration to me as a filmmaker, but what a brave and courageous choice, not only to hand over the footage to me, but then to allow me to just do what I needed to do. 2023 Independent Television Service (ITVS). He said that, according to current statistics, one out of every four girls and one out of every six boys will be sexually abused before age 18. Like many documentaries (Capturing the Freedmans and Escaping Neverland come to mind), this one also raises questions about memory (its distortions); the thin line between private and public arenas; self-revelation and exhibitionism. If nothing else, I felt the film might help someone else. However, the 30-year-old also knew confronting his demons was a necessary step. I thought I was awful and that I must have done something to deserve it. A memoir of molestation whose convoluted structure mirrors the shocking web of abuse its protagonists suffered, Sasha Joseph Neulinger's Rewind allows viewers to watch as . But I did choose how I responded to it: how it would contribute to the shaping of who I am today. My dad is an incredibly gifted filmmaker and the big inspiration in my life. This is not a Jewish, Christian, black, white, gay, straight issue. After scoring very high marks on his standardized tests after Kindergarten, Sasha began displaying frequent withdrawal episodes. I mean, theres a lot of vulnerability there. But his fathers camera, trained on the frequent gatherings of a tight-knit family, was also documenting a hidden secret, the revelation of which would lead to a media firestorm, a high-stakes court battle, and a generational reckoning. Before the filmmaker spells things out, he uses videos of backyard cookouts and innocent gatherings to introduce members of a gregarious extended family, in which Henry, when not holding the camera, was usually mugging for it alongside one of his brothers. Then something happened. Sasha is among the male survivors. I felt safe, supported, and felt free to express myself. Neulinger had learned that his Uncle Larry, father and others were sexually abused. Well send you updates moving forward, but you can unsubscribe at any time. "The only way I could understand or see myself is dirty, gross, bad, unloveable," he said. Shortly after graduating college in 2013, Sasha asked his dad to send him all of the home videos that had been filmed during his childhood. But by sharing his story with the world, he is working to empower survivors to look inward and recognize their strength. I was constantly needing to prepare for different court dates. Meet new CAC Intake Coordinator, Heather Pedersen! And he was captured on film at every stage by his father Henry, a compulsive videographer and producer of PBS documentaries. A part of PBS, America's Home for Documentaries. In many facets of his life, Sasha was thriving. Jacqui and Henrys son, Sasha was always an extremely engaging child. After finishing film school at Montana State University, he discovered the raw materials that would propel him to tell the story of his life. My dad wasnt involved as a filmmaker, he was involved as a subject. As Neulinger follows chains of trauma and abuse through his family tree, its easy to digest how innocent people paid the price. He tried to live a normal kid's life but was dying inside. Composer: T. Griffin, Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day. The view of the world from within the thick timber is very different than the view from the top of that mountain. Lawrence Nevison, 55, who is Howard Nevison's brother and also an uncle of the boy, and Lawrence Nevison's son,. And that led to a series of new questions and really important and cathartic conversations with my mom [Jacqui Neulinger], with my dad, and with the professionals involved in my case. 2023 The Hollywood Reporter, LLC. ROSEMONT, Pa. (WPVI) -- A young man is now talking about being sexually abused by those he trusted. Through the steps we take, we earn that shift in perspective: to see the scale of our lives independent of the trauma we experienced. I want people to recognize that child abuse does exist, she said, that they should never question reporting what might be child abuse because theyre concerned about the adult and what could happen to that adult if a report is false. He had called his father, Henry Nevison, a documentary filmmaker (On the Other Side of the Fence), and asked if he still had any videotapes from his sons childhood. With each rape, I felt increasingly numb. He was a straight-A student, physically fit, and enjoying his social life. "It's not that I didn't get love, it's that I didn't feel lovable," Sasha concedes. Is Director Ari Aster a Madman or a Genius? Marking his film debut, Rewind is an autobiographical documentary that recounts how from ages 3 to 8, he was sexually abused by an adult cousin and two uncles, most notably Uncle Howard, Howard Nevison, the much respected and admired longtime cantor at Temple Emanuel on Fifth Avenue in New York. My time in Montana, while I was at film school, those were the first five consecutive years of my life where child abuse wasnt the primary focus of my existence. Sasha Joseph Neulinger is a husband, hockey player, backcountry adventurer, motivational speaker, and an Emmy Nominated filmmaker - he also happens to be a survivor of multi-generational child sexual abuse: I only lost the ability to accept that I was beautiful, to see that I was worth something. His case spurred a larger movement in child advocacy, including the creation of Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center in East Norriton with the help of then-district attorney Risa Ferman and Abbie Newman. Sasha Joseph Neulinger in 2014. For as long as Neulinger can remember, a video camera was ever-present, with his father constantly filmingfrom birthday parties and hockey games to holidays. Leacock-Pennebaker. After a decade of battling to reclaim his voice in court as a child in Pennsylvania, Sasha moved to Montana in 2008 to study film production at Montana State University. Im really not interested in acting anymore. Another boy pinched me, he answered. 2.4K. What I am hoping to do is really talk about how we can help children so they don't grow up angry and disconnected, and subconsciously willing to repeat the cycle," said Sasha. It also takes a village to rape one.. Rewind, is simply an astounding movie and a milestone in psychiatrically minded filmmaking. At 3 years old, I was the happiest kid on the planet, he said. The more we learn, the more sinister those happy home movies look. I was in constant therapy sessions. This is complex. But his fathers camera, trained on the frequent gatherings of a tight-knit family, was also documenting a hidden secret, the revelation of which would lead to a media firestorm, a high-stakes court battle, and a generational reckoning. As is so depressingly often the case, it was part of a family tradition, since Henry spent his childhood being sexually assaulted by both Larry (who was apparently trying, in his own warped way, to express love) and Howard (who was primarily interested in asserting vicious domination over his siblings). Neulingers father is one of the more remarkable figures in this film. Neulinger approached his mother, telling her about the secret club that was doing bad things. For as long as Neulinger can remember, a video camera was ever-present, with his father constantly filmingfrom birthday parties and hockey games to holidays. "After nine years of secondary trauma, on top of four years of actual abuse . This interview has been edited and condensed. The film was directed by Sasha Joseph Neulinger, the 30-year-old filmmaker who, along with his sister, was molested repeatedly by two uncles and a cousin. 2017 Children's Advocacy Center. His film about his experiences, "Rewind," which played the Tribeca Film Festival last year, makes its TV debut on PBS' "Independent Lens" on May 11. From the get-go, Sasha Joseph Neulinger knew he'd face turbulent waters in creating "Rewind" (May 11 on PBS). They say it takes a village to raise a child, Neulinger noted. This isnt a film worried about manipulating feeling in a specific manner, its concern is bringing that sensation back to those who have forgotten how to feel it. Free Sign Up. Re-watching his childhood provided Sasha some validation, a reminder that he had nothing to do with what his abusers chose to do to himbut that he had everything to do with the strength and resilience it required to hold his abusers accountable. I had to acknowledge and own the story, embrace my childhood self and by extension, embrace who I am now. When he was 8 years old, he disclosed what was happening to his psychiatrist, with his mother present. The comedy was a coping mechanism, as Henry now explains: His own childhood was an emotional minefield that can barely be sketched out here. Jacqui soon realized what was happening and it destroyed her marriage. When a child is experiencing that level of trauma, its hard to retain beautiful moments. Production companies: Step 1 Films, Grizzly Creek Films While introducing these characters, Rewind spends time with Neulinger and his now-divorced parents, discussing his youthful transformation from a bright, intellectual kid to a troubled adolescent who lashed out unpredictably and often spoke about killing himself. 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Watching the footage answered many of his questions while sparking a whole list of new ones. By probing the gap between image and reality, the film depicts both how little and how much a camera can capture. As each frame of footage unfolds, so, too, do the layers of this complex and affecting survivor story, the heartbeat of which is Neulingers vulnerability, bravery, and enduring positivity, against all odds. Sexual abuse doesnt discriminate. Sasha Joseph Neulinger, She felt things were going well for me. For her, the mission is for people to recognize abuse and talk about it to erase the stigma, and films like Neulingers will help, she said. Rewind To Fast-Forward is an autobiographical documentary about Sasha Joseph Neulinger, a survivor of multigenerational child sexual abuse. But there was still this self-deprecating voice in the back of my mind that would say, Sasha, youre dirty, youre disgusting, unlovable. And I wanted to find out where that voice was coming from. The legal minds who helped prosecute Neulingers case reached out to him to set up a Childrens Advocacy Center in his home county. The remarkable composure and empathy that Neulinger can be seen showing from his earliest years extend into his filmmaking, offering his immediate family the chance to share their experiences and reconcile how they handled things based on what they knew and, in some cases, felt they could not share with one another at the time. Donations for the films development and production can still be made at At some level, I believed I deserved this.. Both Howard and Larry were fixtures at Henry and Jacquis homeas was Larrys second son, Stewart, who came to live there after being discharged from the Air Force. Theres deep fear. Outside of classes he fly fished blue-ribbon trout streams, hiked countless peaks, and began to explore what brought him joy in life. An intensely personal project six years in the making, featuring first-hand interviews with Neulingers family, and the law enforcement and mental health professionals on the front lines of subsequent legal battles.
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