Saturday, August 14, 2010


Beginning on January 2009, about 6 months after our trip to Moldova, I started to receive occasional e-mails from a certain Pavel Tuev, up to this day. The only thing was that all e-mails are written in Russian, but with help of some people, I was able to find out that the main subject was grave restoration in Moldova.

It made sense, after our guide Natasha discovered the partially destroyed grave of my great-grandparents in Vadul Rascov. Restoration was something that never occurred to me, until I started to get e-mails from Pavel.

The first e-mail was a list of services and prices. The following ones were just happy holidays’ e-mails, until the last one, which was an update on their services. Unfortunately my understanding of written Russian is zero, so I’m not able here to describe it here in detail. However, they have a website:

Who knows, maybe in the near future I will be able to go back and besides visit this grave, make an attempt to restore it to its past.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


When my father, my sister and I went to Moldova 2 years ago, I already had the intention of documenting the trip and turning it into a film (given my filmmaking background). I didn’t have any idea of what the outcome would be, but even though I took a camera, a bunch of tapes, 2 microphones and a few other paraphernalia.

I came back from Moldova with about 20 hours of footage and still no idea of what kind of footage I had and what I would be able to turn this into. This is because although I contemplated the idea, I did not hire any cameramen or anybody to help me. So I spent the whole trip with the camera in my hands, and experiencing it through its lenses. The camera was basically my eye. A very difficult task, to pay attention to your surroundings, to the framing and audio quality and at the same time understand what’s happening and be able to interact with it. And 5 languages were in place: Portuguese, English, Romanian, Russian and Yiddish.
Although I loved the trip, it was a lot of hard work. I must acknowledge my sister helped me with the second microphone, getting images’ authorizations/release and so forth. But in any case, I didn’t have any idea of the material I had. In my mind, I thought I was going to be able to edit a 5 or 10 minute promo to try to get some funding and go back with a proper crew and shoot a “real” documentary.

Two years later, two years of editing, I have to admit I have much more than a promo. I’m still putting pieces together, combining this puzzle into a film that can entertain people other than my own family, but much more confident that I have an almost completed documentary here.

There is still a lot of work to do: finishing the editing, composing the music, creating all the subtitles for the multiple languages, tightening the narrative/structure, etc. But after having directed a few shorts, this could finally be my first feature-length film. And I’m very excited for all that it represents, for everything I care, rediscovering the past, investigating your identity, feelings and perceptions of memory, possibilities for the future, understanding history and its consequences.

When the documentary is more put together, I should post some clips here. Stay tuned!

Next: Grave restoration in Moldova.