Home Entertainment Berlinale 2024 | Lena Dunham and Stephen Fry join with their Jewish heritage in ‘Treasure’

Berlinale 2024 | Lena Dunham and Stephen Fry join with their Jewish heritage in ‘Treasure’

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Berlinale 2024 | Lena Dunham and Stephen Fry join with their Jewish heritage in ‘Treasure’

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American writer, director and actress Lena Dunham, left, and British actor and comedian Stephen Fry pose for photographers at the premiere for the film ‘Treasure’ during the International Film Festival, Berlinale, in Berlin

American author, director and actress Lena Dunham, left, and British actor and comic Stephen Fry pose for photographers on the premiere for the movie ‘Treasure’ in the course of the Worldwide Movie Pageant, Berlinale, in Berlin
| Picture Credit score: EBRAHIM NOROOZI

Stephen Fry and Lena Dunham play a convincing father and daughter in German director Julia von Heinz’ first English-language film, “Treasure.” Set in post-communist Poland, the comedy-drama had its world premiere on the Berlin Film Festival over the weekend.

Dunham joked in an interview that when she despatched her mom a photograph after her first read-through with Fry, her mom replied, “I feel we now know who your actual father is.”

Dunham mentioned she was filled with nerves assembly Fry: “Assembly your heroes is an advanced factor, and it turned out to be higher than I might have dreamed.”

The movie reveals the pair on a street journey to Poland to retrace household historical past. Fry performs Holocaust survivor Edek, who reluctantly accompanies his daughter Ruth, a New York journalist. He confronts painful reminiscences and shares components of his previous that he had stored buried for years.

The story is predicated on Lily Brett’s e-book “Too Many Males.”

Fry discovered Polish for the function. Each actors mentioned they related with their Jewish heritage.

“After I learn the script, I might hear my grandfather’s voice, and it grew to become extra so the additional we received in,” Fry mentioned. “It by no means occurred to me rising up that there may very well be a possibility to re-investigate the story in that type of manner.”

“I had the identical expertise as Stephen,” Dunham mentioned. “I heard echoes of my great-grandmother Mildred, and the not simply the tales that we advised in our household however the tales that we didn’t inform.”

Lena Dunham poses for photographers at the photo call for the film ‘Treasure’ during the International Film Festival, Berlinale, in Berlin

Lena Dunham poses for photographers on the picture name for the movie ‘Treasure’ in the course of the Worldwide Movie Pageant, Berlinale, in Berlin
| Picture Credit score:
EBRAHIM NOROOZI

Dunham’s household got here from Poland, near the place the movie was shot. Her great-grandmother misplaced 9 siblings initially of the Holocaust in 1941, one thing she solely discovered by means of her investigations into household historical past.

Her character, Ruth, suffers the unsaid aftermath of her mother or father’s experiences. It was this trauma that von Heinz wished to discover.

“If one individual in a household experiences struggle or terror or trauma and won’t speak about it, perhaps to guard their youngsters, perhaps to guard themselves, they may really feel it” the director mentioned. “It’s going to journey by means of the generations till somebody is able to really feel it and to confront the mother and father and to have a dialogue.”

Fry mentioned it’s comprehensible {that a} survivor with a daughter rising up in New York wouldn’t need the kid to know “absolutely the depths of depravity that he would have seen each day as a survivor in Auschwitz.”

He added: “She’s in America. She’s free. That is the land of surprise and splendor and happiness and certainly, comfortable Jews.”

British actor and comedian Stephen Fry speaks during a press conference for the film ‘Treasure’ during the International Film Festival, Berlinale, in Berlin

British actor and comic Stephen Fry speaks throughout a press convention for the movie ‘Treasure’ in the course of the Worldwide Movie Pageant, Berlinale, in Berlin
| Picture Credit score:
EBRAHIM NOROOZI

Filming inside Auschwitz is prohibited, so von Heinz received particular permission to recreate the barracks on a soccer area simply exterior the fence. She felt the scenes there have been integral to Fry’s portrayal of Edek.

“This place does one thing to you that you just can not say, however you’re feeling it,” she mentioned.

The movie premieres in Berlin at a time when antisemitism is on the rise and assist for the far right is rising, significantly in Germany.

When the Hamas-led assault on southern Israel passed off on Oct. 7, all of the forged have been in contact by textual content, von Heinz mentioned. That led to the choice to complete the movie extra shortly than deliberate “and to have it right here at Berlinale, as a result of it’s the very second for a movie like that.”

However Dunham mentioned it was the broader implications of the story that she wished to inform.

“It’s not simply antisemitism that’s on the rise, it’s Islamophobia. It’s racism in America. It’s about concern of distinction,” she mentioned. “And I feel it’s actually, actually vital for us to share the story not only for Jewish individuals, however to type of speak about what occurs generationally when persons are remoted or subjected to violence or subjected to that type of hateful scrutiny.”

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