Esther’s Diary is a deep and fascinating film exposing the internal conflicts among Jewish and Christian survivors of the holocaust in Poland. It penetrates the veil of secrecy, anger, and shame that continues to permeate the Polish collective memory, haunting both survivors and their descendants alike – wherever they may be.
Juli Erickson (Beyond a Reasonable Doubt) plays the role of Apollonia, an elderly Polish mother forced to reveal her family’s darkest secrets in the winter of her years. Shelley Calene-Black plays daughter Maria, who is unexpectedly faced with her family’s tragic and horrific legacy. Sydney Barrosse (“Friday Night Lights”) plays Sarah, the grieving daughter of a Jewish woman who, upon her death, left behind a diary that for the first time details in words, the justification of her decades-long silence. Esther’s final attempt to reach out to her daughter after her death opens an opportunity for forgiveness and understanding between the Polish-American families.
Esther’s Diary is the 2009 director’s re-cut of Forgiveness, initially released in 2008.