First, in the waning hours of the Purim holiday, I am delighted to share that ESTHER IS HERE!
It took me years to find a way in to the young beautiful queen at the heart of the Purim story…in quarantine, she found me. Her song is called “So Many Ways We Can Hide.”
Over 25 dancers, weavers, artists, and little kids recorded themselves interpreting my song in quarantine for this video (with three days notice!) and I’m eternally grateful to each of them.
As the title suggests, this song is partially about hiding – the root of “Esther” comes from the Hebrew word for concealment. But even more, it’s about self-revelation, vulnerability, courage, and speaking truth to power.
For those unfamiliar with the Purim story: this song is about the moment in the Book of Esther when the young Queen Esther approaches the rather boorish, impulsive King. To approach the King without an invitation can mean death. And making matters much worse, the King, who does not know Esther is Jewish, has recently been convinced by an evil adviser to declare death to all the Jews in his kingdom.
Esther risks everything to reveal her identity and – in my imagination – to appeal to the part of him (and herself?) that might still be able to access his own compassion and vulnerability.
I’m so grateful to the beautiful dancers, artists, performers, little girls, wise women, hoopers, and weavers who contributed their movement to make this video, and special thanks to Matt Katz for recording the keyboards on the song!
“So Many Ways We Can Hide” (audio version) lives here, if you’d like to download or stream.
And some very exciting film news:the US festival premiere of A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff is coming up soon! We are extremely honored to announce that the 44th Annual Portland International Film Festival will be featuring our film in its Future/future competition. You can stream the film from anywhere in the US between March 5-14. Tickets are only $9; get yours here!
West coast folks, we are also hosting two free Q&A’s with the filmmaking team: me, director Alicia J. Rose and producer Lara Cuddy. (Too late for the East Coast unless you’re a real night owl – sorry, but we hope to be in East Coast festivals too and will do one then if we can!)
Saturday 3/6, 8:30 pm Pacific – Jewish community of Portland (and beyond) talkback hosted by Havurah Shalom, register here
Saturday 3/13, 7 pm Pacific – general audience talkback, register here