A love song to the descendants of diaspora.
WE BURN LIKE THIS is a subjective, poetic, and internal drama about the historical trauma that gets handed down between three generations of women.
Amidst rising anti-Semitism in Billings, Montana, Rae, a 22 year old Jewish girl and descendant of Holocaust survivors uncovers issues of self worth, addiction, and buried childhood trauma which she must learn to face and heal.
I never met my grandparents. They ran or were taken from their homes near Radomsko, Poland around 1942 and survived forced labor camps as young teenagers in Russia. I have been told that my grandfather once lived off grass.
After the war, my grandparents found themselves at a displaced persons camp in Germany. Like everyone, their families had been killed and like everyone, they met and quickly married. My dad was born soon after, and two years later they immigrated to Brooklyn, USA. My dad went to kindergarten without knowing English. My grandmother never fully knew English and spoke in a fluid mix of Yiddish, Polish, and English.
I do not know Polish. I do not know Yiddish. I learned a little Hebrew for my Bat-Mitzvah. I like to light candles at Hanukkah.
I’m making this film in order to sort through my feelings and thoughts about identity and what self-acceptance and self-love looks like. This film is my self-healing. It is my contribution to the greater healing of Jewish bigotry and recognition of everyone’s humanity and equal right to respect and love.
This story is important, timely, and increasingly relevant. It needs to be told now because anti-Semites feel emboldened in our current culture and our political leaders are doing nothing to stop them.
My intention with this story is to heal and make sense of the trauma that so many have been through. Though it is a story for the Jewish community, my hope is that other minorities will relate and find strength in this story, and people who do not share this experience will open their minds and hearts to how discrimination feels.
May we find a way to forgive, accept, and love ourselves and others. May we find the perfection even in the darkest times and in the darkest memories. May this film be a part of that process, and may we all radically heal.