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, Deborah Del Prete
Casting Director: Ferne Cassel
Director of Photography: David Parker
Lily describes dehumanization in Kaiserwald Concentration Camp (2 min)
Lily describes Death March from a labor camp (1 min)
Lily Mazur Margules Full Oral History (59 minutes)
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.
It's the Summer of 1969, and LILY and EDDIE MARGULES live a normal suburban life. Productive work, have a nice home.
Middle-class routines, daily life, a kiss goodbye each morning. Then at night, newspaper, dinner, perhaps they make love. Eddie
is affectionate and serenades her with songs he's heard on his drive home. But despite his attentiveness and the seeming
American Dream, Lily is detached. He desperately wants children; she's ambivalent. The number the Nazis tattooed on Lily's
forearm, 25 years prior, is a constant reminder of her traumatic past. It is this past that keeps her from living fully in the
One day, Lily admits to her doctor that despite Eddie's desire for children, she's not interested in receiving fertility treatments,
and she's even used birth control. She's 44, and the chance of a baby is slim; besides, she may have been a victim of Nazi
Days later, when Lily learns she's pregnant, HERMANN, a Nazi guard, appears in her kitchen, threatening her life. Despite
seeming so real, Lily realizes Hermann is just her imagination, a reminder of the years of violent imprisonment. Lily calls her
younger sister, RACHEL, who alongside Lily survived four Nazi Concentration Camps. Rachel encourages her to talk to Eddie.
But Lily is so traumatized by the Nazi's appearance; she instead hides her pregnancy and her terrifying hallucinations.
With Hermann's appearance, the violent deaths of her family and friends begin to haunt her, forcing Lily to re-experience all
she and Rachel endured during the war. The memories are debilitating and cause Lily to doubt her ability to love the child she
carries and question her sanity.
After an explosive vision of Hermann, Lily has a very public breakdown. She's then forced to tell Eddie what's happening. They
have difficulty communicating and realize that neither knows what the other endured during the war. Eddie also has a
traumatic past, he fought with the Partisans and had to kill with his bare hands, but he refuses to talk about it and insists Lily
do the same.
Rachel comes to visit, bringing her husband and two children. Rachel thrives in motherhood. While Lily is uncomfortable with
the children, Eddie loves the chaos that comes with a family.
Rachel reveals that Lily was a great piano player, something Lily has hidden from Eddie. He's embarrassed that he didn't know,
and Lily sees they are growing apart. Rachel realizes Lily is dangerously detached from her life.
Eddie suggests a therapist, but Lily becomes angry and rejects the offer. Rachel expresses fond memories of their childhood,
but Lily doesn't understand how Rachel can get past the terror of the camps. Lily admits to Rachel that she's pregnant, and
Rachel is thrilled but shocked to hear that she hasn't told Eddie.
Rachel and Lily share beautiful memories of their mother, GUTA, father, DAVID, and AUNT SONIA. The fond memories spur a
happier time for Lily and Eddie. But another vivid hallucination causes Lily to reject Eddie's affection, deepening the divide
between them. Eddie gives Lily an ultimatum and says they should separate.
In a desperate state, Lily plans to abort her baby. Discovering her plans, Rachel tells Eddie she's afraid Lily's going to hurt
herself. Lily finally admits to Eddie that she's pregnant. At first joyous, he realizes that Lily doesn't want the baby. He's
devastated and sees his marriage is over.
With Rachel's help, Lily recalls the beauty and safety of their childhood. A vision of Guta reminds Lily that despite the darkness,
there is always good. Lily then recalls her father's request as the Nazis took him away. He said, "We are good people, tell the
world we are good."
Lily then finds the strength to confront Hermann and vows to honor her parents' wishes to live a life of good. Hermann's power
diminishes, and by remembering the good, Lily can control his presence. Now able to give herself wholly to Eddie and the baby
she carries, Lily and Eddie reconcile. They begin a new chapter, creating happy memories, both better able to navigate their
pasts. Lily commits to honor her family's story reaffirming their legacy of joy and love.
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.