WE BURN LIKE THIS | Montana Tour | Q&A follows with Director/Writer Alana Waksman and cast and crew
Sponsored by Montana Film Office and Humanities Montana
A debut feature film by Alana Waksman | Executive Produced by Emmy-Award winner Neda Armian (RACHEL GETTING MARRIED, THE LOVING STORY)
Recipient of the Montana Film Office Big Sky Grant. Audience Award Winner at MINT Film Festival. Filmed on location in Butte, Billings, and Missoula, Montana
When 22 year-old Rae, a descendant of Holocaust survivors, is targeted by Neo-Nazis in Billings, Montana, her ancestors’ trauma becomes real. Inspired by true events, this coming-of-age drama shows the inherited effects of historical trauma and the strength of survival and healing. 81 minutes. NR.
Starring Madeleine Coghlan (THE ROOKIE, HOLIDAYS) and 2021 Gotham Award nominated Devery Jacobs (RESERVATION DOGS.)
I never met my grandparents. They were taken from their homes near Radomsko, Poland in 1942 and survived forced labor camps as young teenagers in Russia. I have been told that my grandfather survived a period of time by eating grass. After the war, my grandparents found themselves at a displaced persons camp in Germany. This is where my dad was born, and two years later they were able to immigrate to Brooklyn, New York. My grandparents were proud to be Americans, but my father grew up ashamed of his immigrant and Jewish identities as it was often the reason he was singled out, threatened, and bullied.
The day after the 2016 election, Neo-Nazi pamphlets showed up on the doorsteps of Har Shalom Synagogue in Missoula, Montana where I was living at the time. For the first time in my life, my family’s history was suddenly very real.
I made this film in order to sort through my thoughts about my identity, the inherited effects of historical trauma, and what self-acceptance and self-love looks like. We Burn Like This is my debut feature, which I have been developing for the last seven years. It is my contribution to the greater healing of Jewish bigotry, which continues to be even more important, timely, and urgent.
The storming of the capitol on January 6th was a continued reminder after an exhausting and frightening four years that we are living beside much hatred and rage, and our new administration does not erase the true colors and feelings of our fellow Americans. I believe that it matters to share this story and inspire discussion about Jewish identity and historical trauma in present day America.
May we find a way to forgive, accept, and love ourselves and others. May we find the perfection even in the darkest times and in the darkest memories. May this film be a part of that process, and may we all radically heal.