Maydeleh and the Prisoner
Arie Weiss (named after my great grandfather, Aryeh Wajslic) is a child survivor of the holocaust who, following the war, developed a resilience and strength that allowed him to persevere. Now in his 80’s, Arie’s independence is compromised when he falls ill. Haruka (Japanese for beyond the horizon) arrives to the US on mysterious circumstances to earn her wage as Arie's live-in caregiver. She has left her son behind for the betterment of his future. Arie’s powerless situation and his mistrust of Haruka causes repressed memories of the war to resurface. Haruka has no previous knowledge of the holocaust and is therefore completely unaware to the source of Arie's pain. As they struggle to understand one another, their story provides an insight into the compassion and empathy that can develop between two strangers; one from a strong Jewish heritage, and the other a homogeneous Japanese culture. Given the generations of time that separate them, Arie and Haruka’s relationship addresses the difficult tasks of both sharing and asking questions about painful memories and the way in which they learn and grow from one another.