Origins: Israel, Departure

I was born in London, England, but spent a good part of my early childhood in Israel. My time in Israel was both joyous and tumultuous. My parents divorced by the time I turned three or maybe four. Then we moved a lot. I don’t know exactly when, but I remember the trauma of that separation in my heart. Still, I have fond memories of Israel, of this pre-school pictured here. The school went all out celebrating Jewish Holidays with the most colorful and vibrant decorations. I loved dressing up for Purim. I saw my first movie in Israel. We were on holiday at a beach town. It was late at night. My mother had gone out and my sister and I were alone in a hotel room. I was maybe 5 or 6 years old. I saw lights flashing outside our window. I peeked out to discover a man and woman embracing and kissing on a looming illuminated screen surrounded by the night sky. Our room was adjacent to a drive-in movie theater. I later learned that the film was A Man and a Woman, a  French film written and directed by Claude Lelouch. That moment had a lasting impact on me, and I suspect that it seeded my dream to make movies. I used to run free in Israel making friends with land turtles in empty lots crowded with weeds and picking ticks off stray dogs. Then something changed. I was warned to be careful. There arose a sense of unease, division, and conflict. When I was seven a war broke out and we fled to England. My stories don’t define me, but they do inform my creative urges. I think my difficult childhood informs my desire to explore how we can access the agency to bring into existence love, beauty and joy even during the darkest times

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