Based on the book “Memories, Memories, from Vilna to New York, by Lily Mazur Margules”
Writer: Jennifer Grace Cook
Director: Nadia Tass
Producers: Jason Gurvitz, Rene Bastian, Dana Lustig
Casting Director: Ferne Cassel
Director of Photography: David Parker
When a Holocaust survivor’s Nazi tormentor suddenly appears before her in the summer of 1969, she must find the strength to confront her terrifying past so that she can live and love fully in the present.
Holocaust survivor Lily Margules has a good life. Loving husband, beautiful home in the NYC suburbs, regular tennis dates with friends, a meaningful job and a place within her synagogue. Her days are filled with a happy mundane middle class rhythm.
The terror of her past as a child in Poland is safely that: in her past. Or is it? She has violent memories that seize her. A crowded elevator becomes a packed cattle car filled with Jewish prisoners traveling to their death. A chain link fence morphs with vicious teeth into barbed wire containment. Flashes of dizzying sadistic torture pepper her day and Lily suppresses it all. Has for a very long time. Only she’s given up on the one thing that she and her husband Eddie have longed for. Lily and Eddie are childless. Unsure if she was the victim of Nazi sterilization, they have been trying for years.
Now at the age of 44, Lily has convinced herself that if God had intended for her to have a child, she would have one. Until a regular check up brings startling news: Lily is pregnant. The news makes her heart burst with joy! And then instantly terror bites back with a vengeance. Hermann, a young Nazi guard who tortured her at one of the four concentration camps where she was imprisoned, suddenly appears in her kitchen, with a pistol to her head. Hermann is her creation. Hermann is a powerful and ferocious darkness. He is her fear, her rage. He is her belief that she is unworthy of love and incapable of loving in return. Hermann pushes her to self-destruction and Lily’s world spirals out of control, like during the war, crumbling around her, almost beneath her touch. Hermann’s evil is limitless and he cruelly goads her to destroy the tiny love that’s finally growing inside her.
Lily must find her way through this darkness. She must find a way to recapture the joy that was her life before the war – the joy that is possible in her life now. With the help of her younger sister, Rachel, who Lily guided through the terror of the Holocaust, Lily must confront her fear and embrace the love she knew before the Nazi’s took everything.
Set against the expansive possibility of the lunar landing, summer 1969, LILY is one woman’s struggle to free herself from the horror of her past. When the war is inside, Lily must somehow find the courage to choose life.
The Educational Campaign
This high profile film project will be the basis for specialized educational programming inclusive of text based curriculum, interactive exhibits, social media campaigns, animated series, and virtual reality content intended to engage the community in dialogue and empathetic learning and responsiveness. These programs will be highly targeted for diverse audiences ranging from school children to community leaders. Additionally, these programs will work to support the efforts of those who are working in the field to help people leave hate groups as well as put an end violent extremism.
Organizations that are committed to solving problems in the areas of Holocaust Awareness, Hate Crime and Genocide Prevention, Refugee Assistance, and Neo-Nazi Re-Education Efforts are the types of organizations suited to benefit from this project.
Producers are collaborating with the following organizations in the development of these educational programs: The Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles; Life After Hate, Against Violent Extremism and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, Global.
The LILY production team welcomes the interest and support of like minded non-profits and foundations that are working to combat genocide, violent extremism, racism, anti-Semitism, hate crimes and hate speech.