After discovering at her father’s funeral that he was Jewish, Nieszka (18) escapes Warsaw, leaves behind her grief and her oppressive mother and joins 20 other teenagers from Eastern European countries on a free Jewish heritage trip to Israel. Nieszka hopes to find in Israel a new home, but on the very first night she is excluded from the group as she knows nothing about Judaism. She adopts a new Jewish-Israeli identity in an attempt to fit in, but as it seems that everyone else is just looking for an Israeli soldier to hook up with, and she hasn’t even lost her virginity yet, Nieszka keeps feeling like a fish out of water. As the group journeys across the Israeli landscapes, holy cities and war monuments, rockets fly in the air between Israel and Gaza, and Nieszka comes to realize that the homeland of her dreams is nowhere to be found.
I always felt like a foreigner in my country, my town and even my family. My skin burns in seconds under the Israeli sun and even though I obviously have Eastern European roots, the possibility of an alternative identity to the israeli one, was never legitimated. This is the starting point of Nieszka, my protagonist, as she joins this fully funded propaganda trip, based on the real-life phenomenon of the Birthright-Israel journeys. There, young participants all yearn to find a sense of belonging, identity and love, under the umbrella of Jewish nationalism. With a critical and ironic perspective I wish to address taboos regarding Israeli identity and explore nationalistic patterns in my country while composing a love song to the bleeding landscapes of my childhood and to the melting pot of people sharing this land.
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