Origins: Emma Peel

Who are these filmmakers who make the films and shows we watch? 🎬 How do their personal histories and experiences shape their creative vision and the stories they tell?

While I had some extraordinary experiences growing up, truly awesome adventures, and, thanks to my mother, received an incredibly privileged education, I’m also a survivor of a significant amount of childhood trauma. (I’m not quite ready to write about that). Leaving Israel hurt, but England brought stunning discoveries—at the top of which was a reunion with my father who had moved to London before us. Now I got to spend some weekends with him. He was a bachelor with a tiny sports car🚗. He would make my sister and me a concoction of sliced bananas topped with sugar and a squeeze of lemon then take us speeding into the English countryside to visit his posh friends.

I also discovered television 📺 in England. That was huge for me. I remember being terrified by Dr. Who and transfixed by The Saint, The Avengers, and The Prisoner. Emma Peel was my hero. I learned the power of storytelling from these shows. Dr. Who taught me about creative freedom. The Saint showed me the value of doing good for others. I learned women could be clever, strong, and powerful from The Avengers’ Mrs. Peel. The Prisoner taught me that we live within a conceptual reality too often determined by groupthink, that we can slip into a dream-like state wandering through life on autopilot unaware that our existence is being shaped by societal forces that may at times be malevolent. Watching The Prisoner was a shocking wake up call that I have never forgotten.