The story of three generations of Morgenthau men.

What drives greatness?

MORGENTHAU – a two-hour documentary film produced by Dog Green Productions -- tells the epic story of one American family whose careers brought them to the forefront of some of the most dramatic events of the last hundred years. The dynamic arcs of their exemplary public service – Henry Morgenthau Senior as United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire; Henry Morgenthau Junior as United States Secretary of Treasury under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt; and Robert M. Morgenthau as District Attorney of New York County for over 30 years – reveal new perspectives on the social and political shifts in twentieth century history. From fighting for international action against the genocide of Armenians on the cusp of WWI, through the efforts to rescue Jews during the Holocaust despite American political obstruction, and on to the struggle to reduce street crime and pioneer the prosecution of white collar corruption in the financial capital of the world, New York City, the trajectory of the three Morgenthau generations epitomizes the American experience and the continual fight for justice.

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Henry Morgenthau, Sr.
American Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire

Henry_Morgenthau_Sr"It is absurd for the Turkish government to assert that it ever seriously intended to deport the Armenians to new homes. The treatment, which was given the convoys, clearly shows that extermination was the real purpose."

Henry Morgenthau, Jr.
U.S. Secretary of the Treasury

Henry_Morgenthau_Jr"War is never cheap, but as I’ve said before, it’s a million times cheaper to win than to lose."

Robert M. Morgenthau
District Attorney for New York County

Robert_M_Morgenthau"Was I scared? Yea, I was scared...I mean, as I say, I made a little deal with the Almighty, that’s saying that if I get out of this alive, I'm gonna do something useful with my life."

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Morgenthau Trailer

The Filmmakers

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Max Lewkowicz

Director/ Producer/ Writer

Max Lewkowicz, founder and owner of Dog Green Productions, has written, directed, and produced hundreds of productions for network and public television, museums, and multinational organizations in a career that has spanned over twenty-five years.

Mr. Lewkowicz’s documentary works include award-winning films about the mercury pollution afflicting Native American tribes in Northern Canada, the Dance Theater of Harlem, the generational cycles of poverty in America’s inner cities, Nelson Mandela’s struggle against Apartheid in South Africa, as well as Across the Bridge, a documentary about the American Military Doctrine in Germany during the Cold War and Ours to Fight For, which tells the stories of American GIs in World War II.

In addition, Mr. Lewkowicz has written, produced and directed museum exhibition films and interactive presentations domestically and internationally. His works in this area include the media for the core exhibits of Normandy American Cemetery Visitor Center (for which he produced eighteen films and interactives) and the Pointe du Hoc Visitor Center, The Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York, The South Africa Heritage Museum in Cape Town, and the Montreal Memorial Holocaust Center.

Mr. Lewkowicz’s writing and directorial expertise has won critical acclaim and numerous awards, including the Silver Screen Award at the U.S. International Film and Video Festival, the grand prize of The Chicago International Film Festival, and the 2003 Award of Excellence from the National Association of Museum Exhibitions. Mr. Lewkowicz is a graduate of McGill University and has a Masters Degree in Communications from New York University.

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Valerie Thomas

Writer/Producer

Valerie Thomas is a writer and producer at Dog Green Productions. She began her career in film as an editorial assistant on Toxic Avenger: Part Three. Within a few months, she was hired as an assistant in Jonathan Demme’s office, just as Silence of the Lambs was going into production. For the next 11 years, Ms. Thomas worked for Jonathan Demme. She became director of development, then vice president of development, where she oversaw the development of dozens of projects, including Philadelphia, Devil in a Blue Dress, Adaptation and Beloved. She went on to become a producer with Jonathan Demme, producing Ulee’s Gold and Subway Stories.After leaving Demme’s office, Ms. Thomas wrote a screenplay for 20th Century Fox.

She has written young adult novels for the past five years. Her first book, Karma Bites (Houghton-Mifflin) was published in August 2010. Her second book, From What I Remember (Hyperion) was published in May 2012, and was recently optioned for film by Paramount Pictures. Ms. Thomas received her B.A. from Reed College and her Masters from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University.

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Joseph Borruso

Senior Editor

Joseph Borruso is the senior video editor at Dog Green Productions. He has edited and post-supervised numerous documentaries for HBO and PBS including Slumming It: Myth and Culture on the Bowery, Kindergarten, 27th & Prospect and The Telephone. He has also edited TV and radio spots for Public Television’s Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! series. Along with his broadcast work, Mr. Borruso has edited films and videos for museums and the private sector, including The Decatur House Museum, The Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, The Maltz Museum and The Jamestown Museum. His editing also encompasses short narrative films including Someone to Love, the winner of the Audience Choice Award for Best Independent Drama at the DaVinci Film and Video Festival.

Mr. Borruso is a graduate of New York University, Tisch School of The Arts, where he majored in film and television and minored in history.

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Scott Shelley

Director of Photography

Scott Shelley is a cinematographer and producer with 19 years of experience in documentary, television and independent feature films. He received his M.F.A. from California Institute of the Arts and has two nominations and one National Emmy for Outstanding Nonfiction Cinematography.

Mr. Shelley started as an editor and later producer for the UN Center Against Apartheid, UNTC and UNICEF producing stories for CNN, and full-length documentaries distributed worldwide. Other documentaries he has shot include Primal Contact for A&E, Song of the Refugee for PBS and David Novack’s American Coal [soon to be released]. Mr. Shelley has worked in over 60 countries, often in remote areas under difficult circumstances.

His television career includes 8 seasons as a principle cinematographer for Jerry Bruckheimer’s The Amazing Race. Mr. Shelley was also the Director of Photography for two television series produced by Phil Keoghan: Adventure Crazy and No Opportunity Wasted. No Opportunity Wasted is a 13-hour series shot in HD for The Discovery Channel, and won the Hor Concours at the Banff Television Festival in 2005. Recent work includes an international ad campaign featuring Ralph Fiennes, Susan Sarandon, Jessica Lange, Whoopi Goldberg and others.

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Catharine Axley

Associate Producer/Line Producer/Assistant Editor

Catharine is a graduate of Yale University, where she majored in History and Ethnicity, Race & Migration. She became interested in documentary film while at Yale and made a short film that took a critical look at international cruise ship tourism on Haiti’s northern coast. She has most recently worked on three documentary films including The Road to Nasiriyah, a film about the looting of archaeological sites in Iraq after the war.