Avraham and his new home

KIKA, 2015, 26 min.

In this film about Hasidic Jews in Ukraine, the writer Andrea Morgenthaler gives us a glimpse of a very unusual childhood: she follows the 10-year-old Avraham Krohn in his everyday life, which is organised entirely along the lines of 200-year-old religious rules. Sidelocks, four-cornered shirt and kippah are as natural to the boy as the daily prayers at the grave of Rebbe Nachman and the strict segregation of the sexes. His family moved from Jerusalem to Uman in Ukraine four years ago, so as to be closer to this holy site. Avraham’s father is the head of the local Jewish school and chairman of the Hasidic community. Avraham is the second-oldest of seven brothers and sisters, and one of the school’s best pupils.

The film shows impressively how much Avraham’s life, shaped by his religion, differs from that of the average German child – but also reveals certain parallels. Because like every child, what Avraham looks forward to most is playing football with his friends after school. And to the biggest celebration of the year: Rosh Hashanah, when they spend two days dancing and singing. “It’s a really wonderful celebration”, says Avraham. “Music everywhere, and everywhere people are dancing and happy. There are only men in the streets. My mother and my sisters are not allowed to take part, but I am allowed to go out with my friends, even at night.”

“Avraham and his new home” takes us to visit the world of Hasidic Jews and offers a rare glimpse of everyday life in a culture that is very alien to us. Exciting, informative and accessible – a film about children for children.

Writer and director: Andrea Morgenthaler
Camera: Torben Müller
Production: Sandra Šamec, Sabrina Kalenbach
Producer: Nadja Frenz
Script editor: Ricarda Eggs
Executive producers: Sandra Maischberger, Matthias Martens