Rain in Her Eyes, directed by Ron Omer, is a prizewinning documentary that provides a look at the life and prolific writings of Devorah Omer (1932-2013). Winner of the Israel Prize, Omer wrote 98 children’s books in her lifetime.
Devorah Omer grew up on Kibbutz Maoz Haim in the Beit She’an Valley. The film talks about the difficulties of her childhood, especially the apparent suicide of her mother and her anger at her father for not being there for her since he was away trying to save children survivors of the Holocaust at that time. We learn about her first attempt at getting published – the publisher turned her down with very rude comments about how this book wouldn’t be of interest to anyone! She submitted the manuscript to another publisher, and as they say, the rest is history! This first book was called Tamar’s Diary and was published in 1959.
Omer would talk at home about the character she was developing and writing, as if he or she was a real person. According to her husband, Shmulik Omer, it was as if there was another person living in the house! The author said once, When I write a story, “I have to feel that I care, that it hurts me, that it’s interesting to me.”
Have you ever read the book about Sarah Aaronson called Sarah: The Heroine of Nili? It was a fabulous historical novel meant for an elementary school age reader, which came out in 1967. Of course, we all know that the true story included a painful story of suicide, which was a part of Omer’s life also. But the fact that Omer’s mother committed suicide was never proven, and late in life, Omer learned that the story was not actually true.
I am proud to say that I sit on the committee of the Film and Media Collaborative, a joint effort of the Avi Chai Foundation, the Maimonides Fund, and the Gesher Multicultural Film Fund, and we provided funding toward the production of this film.
Rain in Her Eyes is a compelling and compassionate documentary film (59 minutes, 2020) about a prolific children’s author who has helped to create some of the mythic and historical heroes of our day! The film, written and directed by Devora Omer’s son, won Best Debut Film at DocAviv and the Israel Academy Award (Ophir prize) for Best Documentary film in 2020.