|Under Jakob's Ladder|
|Directed by||Mann Munoz|
|Produced by||Roberto Munoz|
|Written by||R.M.M. Munoz|
|Music by||Miq Munoz|
|Editing by||Mann Munoz|
|Running time||107 min.|
Under Jakob's Ladder is an upcoming 2010 Independent Film drama by CubeCity Entertainment. Based on a true story, it tells how a teacher named Jakob is arrested and thrown into a Soviet prison in the early 1940s. Mann Munoz directed the film and Roberto Munoz produced. Jeff Stewart plays the lead role of Jakob Seel. The movie also stars were Christopher Elliott, Sal Rendino, Quentin McCuiston, Sean Patrick Folster, Matthew R. Staley, Chloe Roe, and Ken Jennings.
The film is set in the Soviet Union in 1941. It features the lives of the ethnic minority Germans from Russia.
Jakob Seel (Jeff Stewart) struggles with his growing sense of worthlessness after he is dismissed from his position as a teacher in a Soviet village. A neighbor asks him to say a prayer at the funeral of her brother. He agrees, even though he knows it is illegal. But Jakob is reported and he is arrested by the secret police later that night. They take him from his daughter and granddaughter, Marta (Chloe Roe).
Thrown into prison, Jakob and his fellow political prisoners find themselves under the heel of the ruthless warden: Nikolai (Christopher Elliott). Unknown to them, Nikolai has an old vendetta against Jakob. One by one, during the night, prisoners mysteriously disappear. To help distract them from their terror of being taken, Jakob consents to the prisoners' request to form a choir. In doing so, he unexpectedly finds the sense of worth he had craved. As he rehearses the men, he gains their respect, especially that of the embittered prison bully, Bruno (Sal Rendino).
Then one day, the man responsible for Jakob's arrest—Oigen (Ken Jennings) -- is also imprisoned. Now, Jakob faces the test of a lifetime—to see if he's ready to forgive the unforgivable.
Under Jakob's Ladder was inspired by the life of a real teacher who lived in the Soviet Union in the 1930s: Jakob Seel. His life story is representative of so many others who lived during Stalinist great purges. He belonged to an ethnic minority called the Germans from Russia.
During the 1700s, Jakob's German-speaking ancestors were among those invited by Catherine the Great (and her son Paul and grandson Alexander who ruled after her) to settle the Russian teriories. Communist rule was established as a result of the 1917 Russian Revolution, and Stalin came to power in the late 1920s. In the 1930s, Stalin began his political purges. The secret police would always come at night in a vehicle that was nicknamed the Black Raven. Men became scarce in the villages and it wasn't long before Jakob himself was arrested -- after praying a simple prayer at a funeral.