Whilst performing at a school last year I was shocked to discover the existence of unashamed racist behaviour towards a Jewish student. This wasn’t your average comprehensive school, it was in fact a very academic establishment, but what I witnessed was a blatant case of anti-Semitism.
The incident involved a young man being knocked heavily to the ground by a group of four female students. The young man concerned was slightly built and wore glasses and I immediately thought it was a straight case of bullying. When I approached the young ladies about their actions towards their fellow student, and remonstrated with them, the ringleader of the group simply said “why are you bothered about it, he’s only a Jew boy”
I was furious, but it was rather obvious that this well-groomed young lady couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about, because he was a Jew. She was unrepentant and totally indifferent towards his feelings.
I was so sickened by her response that I was inspired to make another film. Having already produced two educational films about the rise of the Nazis from the German perspective, this time I wanted to write about a Jewish family, from Germany. I wanted show their experiences during the rise of the Nazis through to being caught up in the Holocaust itself.
Although the film is aimed at the educational market, I’ve pulled no punches. I feel it’s my duty to use my skills, both as a writer and a performer to show the truth about anti-Semitism.
When shown in schools the film will help to illustrate to students the sheer horror that was orchestrated by the Nazis against the Jews. This is not a re-make of the Anna Frank story; we’re shooting from the hip. The aim is to be hard-hitting and try to get students to understand what Jewish families actually went through from the beginning to the end. The family I’ve created, using original accounts, are Germans first, Judaism is simply their religion. The main characters are teenagers; the aim being to get students to identify with the Jews as people, and accept them as ordinary people.
The working title of the film is The Journey and we hope to go into production next year. We’re currently in the process of fund raising for the project, so if you think you can help or would like to find out more, please let me know.