„It's okay to have fun being Jewish“ Jalda points out at the beginning of the film adding, „But that’s really oversimplifying it because getting there was quite tough.“
The artists Jalda Rebling and Anna Adam are a gay couple living in Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg. Both of them are Jewish. They are the „first generation after“, daughters of mothers who survived Auschwitz. This has deeply impacted their lives and shaped their feelings towards being Jewish.
When Jalda and Anna met in the 1990s, they both felt they were at a bottom point in their lives. Together the couple started a long and strenuous search for a joyful approach towards being Jewish.
The film “Jalda and Anna - First generation after” begins by showing where the two women are today. It recounts how they created their very own way of living a Jewish life – neither according to the conventions expected by the Jewish community nor aligned with today’s image of Jews prevalent in German society.
Jalda is one of the few female Jewish cantors in Germany, and together with Anna she founded a small egalitarian Jewish congregation in Berlin. This is where she has created a space for herself and others that is free of hierarchy, and where she develops new rituals and traditions that reflect her view of Judaism. Anna, meanwhile, undermines the predominant, politically correct culture of commemoration with her art projects. One of them is the Happie Hippe Jew Bus, in which she travels around (rural) Germany and invites people to participate in satirical as well as serious debates about Judaism. „The past should be a springboard, not a couch!“ she states. She uses provocative objects, such as cherry pit heating pads shaped like the Star of David and temporary tattoos to question the conventional ways in which the Holocaust is commemorated by current and previous generations. Both Jalda and Anna constantly cross artistic, religious and political borders through their work.
You can order a DVD at katinkazeuner(a)googlemail.com
For two years, filmmakers Katinka Zeuner and Ben Laser accompagnied Jalda and Anna’s lives, following them from Berlin to rural Germany and all the way to Israel.
„Jalda and Anna – First Generation After“ is a portrait of two women who today live self-consciuos, proud and Jewish in Germany and who keep creating their own space in society, in a humourous yet determined way.
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