I saw a wonderfully romantic and joyful Holocaust documentary, The Lost Love Diaries by Yasmine Novak, at the Jerusalem Film Festival yesterday.
Ellis is an energetic and wonderfully expressive woman. She is full of charm, humor, optimism and loves to tell stories. She says she was a very lucky woman because she had two great loves in her life – Bernie, her first love in Holland before the war, and her husband of more than 60 years, Elmie. She talks wistfully about Bernie and she sings songs that she remembers that they both liked from that period! Such wonderful memories of life right before the horrors.
The Lost Love Diaries is a documentary story about Ellis. She grew up in Holland, survived the Holocaust and came to live in Israel. After her husband passed away, she remembers the diary that was hidden among her possessions – a diary from her teenage boyfriend, Bernie, the love of her life, the man she would have married if things had been different. When she went into hiding, she was separated from Bernie forever.
Together with her daughter, Shula, she goes on a journey to Holland to discover whatever she can about Bernie and what happened to him. They follow the trail from hints in the diary and they learn that Bernie and his parents were deported to Auschwitz. They meet someone who knew Bernie and track down a woman whose parents hid Ellis and her father.
The Lost Love Diaries is not your usual Holocaust film. It is a story of unfulfilled love, but told with great humor. It is about the search for a young man who was wiped from the earth before his time, but he was remembered forever by a woman who loved him dearly. The film is available from July August Productions, firstname.lastname@example.org.