Tali sets out on her journey to Lodz with her Polish-German lover Magda. Their roadmap consists of bits and pieces of old information about street names, homes and tombstones related to Tali‘s grandmother, a Holocaust survivor from Lodz. Grandma’s home in the ghetto, the streets of her youth: are they still there? Can Tali and Magda find them? How would it feel to discover an old house, knowing so many stories about its past?
My Two Polish Loves explores these themes through Tali’s journey with her lover Magda. Two women from different worlds. In their intimacy and openness they begin discovering similarities in their lives that had initially been indiscernible. Such is their connection to their Polish heritage. This intimate space stretches from their romantic relationship to Tali’s grandmother’s past and back to the present again. It encompasses all the questions that have arisen for Tali since her grandmother’s death and since falling in love with Magda: Will future generations be at all interested in the history of the Holocaust if there are no longer any living witnesses? How important are the physical memories, the names, the homes and the graves for our rapidly changing society? What is the role of the so-called third generation, the grandchildren of those who survived or witnessed the Holocaust? How does our past inform our complex and conflicting histories and identities, or who we are today? The film asks these questions in an honest, authentic and often humorous way.
This is an unusual documentary and an artistic discussion of how the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors deal with emotional memory. How can the third generation keep alive the memories of their deceased grandparents? Is there still a place for these fading memories in our rapidly changing world?
My Two Polish Loves
Running time: 50 min
Year of production: 2016
Country: Germany, Poland, Israel
Director/Producer: Tali Tiller
Concept: Tali Tiller, Magda Wystub
Director of Photography: Magda Wystub
Additional Camerawomen: Almut Wetzstein, Susanne Dzeik
Editor: Evelyn Rack
Sound Editing: Hilko Ahlrichs
Composer: Kim Dresel
Music Recording: Vitaliano Zurlo
Hebrew Translation: Aviv Maoz
Fundraising: Inna Michaeli
Graphics: Yael Rosen, Leyla Sehar-Madauß
Press Kit Editor: Amanda Russello
Supported by Maecenia – Foundation For Women In Science And Art
Talli Tiller is an independent filmmaker. Born in Israel, living and working in Berlin since 2012. From 2007 to 2012 produced biographical documentaries, telling the stories of Holocaust survivors, Jews who came to Israel from different regions, and people who took part in the establishment of Israel in its early years, building cities and kibbutzim. Director of the film Our Neve Zedek (2009).
My Two Polish Loves embodies a new artistic and cinematic approach to Holocaust memory, one that focuses on future generations with a deep commitment to building an ethical relationship with the past. It strives to avoid “the problems of traumatization and commodification“ that mark earlier Holocaust film and commercial cinema. Retracing and reviving memories through family and intimate connections, the film deviates from traditional narratives of remembrance. It gently touches upon everyday life of the third generation, exploring who we are, our cultural, national, gender and sexual identities, and our connections to our roots, our families, ourselves and our societies. It centres on women and relationships between women: a grandmother-grand- daughter relationship and a romantic relationship. Women are both in front of and behind the camera, exploring their past, present and future.