Thursday, 29 August 2013


Salutations, FYFT Followers,

So, I wanted to tell you a little bit about an amazing project that I have recently come across called ABSENT

ABSENT is a film following a Jewish film maker, Matthew Mishory's journey back to his father's home after it suffered destruction at the hands of the Holocaust. His father's family were born in the Jewish agricultural village of Marculesti in north-East Romania, now a part of modern day Moldova. Matthew's father lived there with his family until 1935, when they fled to the British Mandate of Palestine. Sadly, in a mere handful of years, the village and its community had been completely destroyed. Today, Matthew intends to be the first member of his family to return to Marculesti in 75 years.

This is a particularly interesting study as the loss of Jewish life and Jewish culture in that part of Europe is so often ignored or overlooked. Due to the infamy of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Holocaust study often focuses solely on the lost Jewish communities in Poland and communities in Western Europe. However, the communities in the region Matthew intends to visit (known as Bessarabia) were among some of the most culturally significant Jewish communities in the world. For example, they were responsible for the creation of the incredible traditional Jewish music known as Klezmer music. However, there is almost no trace that this richly cultured community ever existed. 

Klezmer music in Eastern Europe 

This is an issue that also extends to mostly all of Eastern Europe, where there existed an array of large, culturally rich and significant Jewish communities. Now, for the most part, nothing remains. 

It is also interesting to note that, much like the majority of Eastern European governments and societies, the role that the Moldovan government played in the extermination of all aspects of Jewish life has been denied. Dialogue is vital for the world to begin healing (which may appear a strange to say as the Holocaust ended 68 years ago, but the trauma still resonates within individuals and their surrounding communities) and in order to move productively & healthily forward, accountability is an issue that must be truthfully addressed.

This project is also significant due to the timing of its creation; filmed against a backdrop of growing anti-Semitism, Romaphobia and other kinds of prejudice in Europe. Matthew himself points out that in just the past three years 'tens of thousands of Roma people have been expelled from France alone.' FYFT agree with ABSENT team's intended message & support their important social & cultural project. It is reassuring to find others that share our quest to help individuals understand what good and bad we each are capable of. Only through gaining this societal understanding and acceptance can we ensure that prejudice will eventually become a social issue of the past. 

The ABSENT team are currently fundraising for the project on Indigogo; we urge you to support them in any way you can:


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