Join Hannah Kozak in conversation with Ziyah Gafic on October 8, 2020 at 12 PM EDT for a VII Interactive Book Club discussion of “He Threw the Last Punch Too Hard,” a story of mother-daughter reconciliation after domestic violence.
About “He Threw the Last Punch Too Hard”
The book “He Threw The Last Punch Too Hard” by Los Angeles based photographer Hannah Kozak tells the story of her mother Rachel Zarco, a beautiful, passionate, vivacious, and fiery Guatemalan Sophia Loren- type brunette who left Hannah and the family after she fell in love with another man. The man turned out to be violent. He beat her so badly that she suffered permanent brain damage and had to be moved into an assisted living facility at the age of forty-one, where she still lives today. Since 2009, Hannah has followed her difficult journey and this book is their story. A story that could inspire other women to leave an abusive relationship, before it’s too late.
“He Threw the Last Punch Too Hard” was a finalist for the inaugural 2019 FotoEvidence W Award.
About Hannah Kozak
Hannah Kozak was born to a Polish father and a Guatemalan mother in Los Angeles, California. At the age of ten, she was given a Kodak Brownie camera by her father, Sol, a survivor of eight Nazi forced labor camps and began instinctively capturing images of dogs, flowers, family and friends that felt honest and real. As a teenager growing up in Los Angeles, Hannah would sneak onto movie lots and snap photos on the sets of Charlie’s Angels, Starsky and Hutch and Family, selling star images to movie magazines and discovering a world that was far from reality.
While working in a camera store at the age of twenty, Hannah’s life changed when she met a successful stuntwoman named Victoria Vanderkloot who became her mentor and helped her start a career in stunts. For nearly twenty-five years, Hannah’s work provided the opportunity to work with notable directors such as Michael Cimino, David Lynch, Mike Nichols, Tim Burton and Michael Bay. She worked as a stunt double for celebrated stars like Cher, Angelina Jolie, Lara Flynn Boyle and Isabella Rossellini. On every set, Hannah took her camera to work, capturing candid, behind-the-scene pictures that penetrated the illusion of Hollywood magic.
Her wanderlust and career in the film business afforded Hannah the opportunity to travel from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Mexico, Guatemala and Peru to Egypt, Italy, Israel and India, capturing images of far away lands and exploring the innocence and truth found in the faces of children from around the world.
Hannah has turned the camera on herself, her life and her world. She continues to look for those things that feel honest and real, using her camera as a means of exploring feelings and emotions. After decades of standing in for someone else, she now is in control of her destiny and vision.
Hannah creates psychological and autobiographical photographs. Her subjects are the people and places that touch her emotionally. She has been photographing people and places for nearly five decades. Photography has the power to heal and to help us through difficult periods, something
Hannah Kozak knows first hand from personal experience.