A middle-grade memoir about two Jewish sisters, one Deaf and one hearing, fighting to survive during the Holocaust, is making its way to the small screen, with the help of Marlee Matlin. The Oscar winner is executive producing a limited series adaptation of “Signs of Survival: A Memoir of the Holocaust” by Renee Hartman and Joshua M. Greene. Matlin’s company, Solo One Productions, is producing, per Deadline.
Published by Scholastic in January, “Signs of Survival” revisits the true story of Hartman and her sister, Herta. “As Jews living in 1940s Czechoslovakia, Renee, Herta, and their parents were in immediate danger when the Holocaust came to their door,” the source describes. “As the only hearing person in her family, Renee had to alert her parents and sister whenever the sound of Nazi boots approached their home so they could hide. But soon their parents were tragically taken away, and the two sisters went on the run, desperate to find a safe place to hide. Communicating in sign language and relying on each other for strength, Renee and Herta would have to fight to survive the darkest of times.”
“As a Deaf, Jewish woman, I have been on a quest to find an authentic and never-before-told story of the Holocaust,” Matlin stated. “This true story, based on the real-life events of two sisters, one Deaf and one hearing, inspired me even more to bring the story to the screen.”
“Scholastic is committed to sharing stories both in books and on screen that inspire and inform, so that all children can learn about themselves as well as the bigger world around them,” said Scholastic Entertainment President Iole Lucchese. “With ‘Signs of Survival,’ a heroic story of two sisters surviving the Holocaust, Scholastic is proud to bring that ethos to deaf and hearing communities everywhere. There is no one we would rather partner with to tell this story than Marlee Matlin.”
Matlin most recently appeared on-screen in Sian Heder’s “CODA,” the winner of Best Picture at this year’s Oscars. The coming-of-age story follows a music-loving teen who is the only hearing member in a Deaf family. Matlin and her co-stars also won the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for the film. “Switched at Birth,” “The L Word,” “The West Wing,” and “Children of a Lesser God” are some of her other best-known credits. She became the first Deaf performer to win an Academy Award when she received the Best Actress Oscar for the latter, which marked her acting debut.