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Finding Home Film Documentary

Finding Home is a film by DEEP Arts partner Blue Sky Project Films.
The following is an overview of the project.

Musical theatre producer/writer Deborah Haber had an epiphany after a ten-year struggle to tell the story of her parents escape from Europe during the Holocaust. Through musical theatre she could blend and reimage her family’s exodus with others on a similar journey today. The film Finding Home follows Deborah as she explores what theatre and art have to tell us about refugees both past and present.

After twenty-five years into her career running a successful children’s theatre Deborah shifted her focus and, at the same time, the focus of the children’s theatre from a traditional, location-specific theatre to one focused nationally (and globally) on new work. Deborah’s parents were Holocaust survivors and she had known for a very long time that she wanted to create a theatrical work based on their nine-year journey of survival and finding home. She had hours of audiotape of her now deceased father telling his story and she had the eroding memories of her 100-year-old mother. For Deborah it was important to memorialize their story in a way that she knew how, to turn it into theatre. For ten years Deborah worked in the genre of musical theatre to retell the story of her parent’s year-long journey from occupied Austria through Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and then finally to America. The project was workshopped at Indiana University, Indiana Repertory Theatre, and Geva Theatre Center and invited to New York City for its debut. Then everything changed. In 2015 Germany opened its borders and the current refugee crises began to grow and gain greater notice.

With all of that, Deborah continued struggling to find support, funding and the optimal way to move the project forward. About a year ago, Deborah stopped, looked around and realized her dream wasn’t finding its full voice, so she went back to the beginning and radically re-considered what her very private and precious family story looks like within the frame of those living similar stories right now? She wondered what the theatrical experience could look like if it connected her story to that of others, if it pulled from displaced artists from around the world to create something new. She began to ask herself a new set of questions: What if the basic thread of her story remained the same, but it’s telling came from somewhere else? What if the set and costume designers, the composers, and actors were themselves refugees? What would happen if the historical and contemporary stories merged? How would it work? What would it say? The film Finding Home follows the journey to the answers. Deborah is comfortable in the ambiguity; the not knowing what will finally emerge.

Today over sixty-eight million people are finding that being displaced is their present and possibly permanent reality.