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Five pieces of paper - Grandma's spirit lives on

solo performance · moti buchboot · Ages 13+ · family friendly · flashing lights · world premiere · one person show · Israel

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Review by CLAIRE BANCHICH

June 29, 2019 certified reviewer

What I liked

I especially liked the singing, which took me off-guard with its emotional impact.

What I didn't like

It all came together beautifully. I would have liked the images on the screen to appear more clearly; this is a tech challenge having to do with lighting: how to keep the area around the screen dark enough for a crisp image without sacrificing the light necessary for the foreground action. It’s a minor thing; I wish I had the technological expertise to suggest substantial solutions.

My overall impression

The show is in many ways about finding meaning and faith in the face of unfathomable atrocity as Moti remembers his maternal grandmother’s unqualified love and, at the same time, confronts and copes with a short but horrifying written record she left about the Holocaust and her internment at Auschwitz. The show is multi-media: still photos, historical footage, monologues, puppetry, song, dramatization, and even baking. Moti takes the audience with him as he unsparingly probes the brutality of family separation, mass murder, and survival—and the way the trauma also impacts further generations of a family. I think it would be a misconception to claim that Moti (and the audience, through him) comes to peace with a history that can never really be resolved, but, instead, there is an expansion of the soul and a widening embrace of love despite the horror.

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