It all started at a producer/director workshop in Lodz, when I met Alexandre Dayet who was just back from a visit to Israel where he read and heard about a string of suicide of young ultra orthodox jews who had left their communities. After speaking and discussing about it we decided that this documentary would be the first feature documentary of Se-ma-for (Switzerland). We embarked in a journey to understand the reasons behind this strings of suicides and there we discovered a reality that was kept well hidden, by families and communities alike, this people became outcast with no rights to come back, all links to friends and family cut and no one to help them in adjusting to their new life. This leaving the weakest one from a psychological point of view with no other options then a last act of desperation.
During the research it became clear to us, that the problem was wider than originally thought and acknowledged by all communities. The subject was taboo until not long ago. The research also brought to light how the loss of their past was impacting not only their present and future but also the lives of families and loved ones left behind.
The editorial line
The documentary reflects the conditions and tensions in the social environment of both the individuals and the communities after the decision was taken by the individuals to leave. The focus of the documentary lays on the experiences of 2 women and 1 man who, courageously decided to speak up openly about their ordeal after leaving their communities. It explains the reasons of their choices and the emotional pressure they came under as per their families and loved ones. They hope with this to increase awareness and help preventing incidents.
Why do we need you!
The documentary is in its pre production phase. Because of its delicate subject and because it is made as part the of a Film & Television Doctorate at the prestigious Lodz Film School the funding received has been negligible. All the crew and people involved have made, up to date, many personal effort to support this project and Alexandre in the believe that this story is not only one of general interest but also one of social duty to help other individuals to know they are not alone and there are ways of rebuilding their life without fear or pressure, what ever their religious and political background is. To make sure the project succeed the funding need it will cover the following
- Meeting different consultants in religious issues across Europe and Israel
- Meeting the people who have agreed to be part of the documentary and agree the shooting locations, with all permits required
- Covering the equipment costs
There is still a lot more work to be done until the documentary is ready, but the above are crucial for the continuation and delivery of the project.