Film Festival Spotlight: Here We Are
Here We Are is a heartwarming film of the love a father has for his son. Aharon has devoted his life to raising his son Uri. They live together in a gentle routine, away from the real world. But Uri is autistic, and now as a young adult it might be time for him to live in a specialized home. While on their way to the institution, Aharon decides to run away with his son and hits the road, knowing that Uri is not ready for this separation. Or is it, in fact, his father who is not ready?
This story has tremendous meaning for me. My maternal uncle, Freddy (OBM), had 2 very bad accidents as a teenager which caused traumatic brain injuries. While he held down a job on the lower east side of Manhattan in the garment district, he lived with my grandmother until she was no longer able to care for herself or him. As much as his twin sisters (15 years his junior) would have liked to have taken Freddy in, it was too much for one sister who had recently become a widow and for the other sister who had been caring for their mother.
My mom and aunt found a living facility for my uncle, that would provide him with the daily care he needed in a safe environment. It was most definitely the best thing that ever could have happened to him. He continued to tell me that he was going to “work” which consisted of his daily card games, ceramics, and movies. The absolute highlights for him: a trip to Disney World and Hawaii, two events that likely would not have happened, had he still been living with our family. I know the choice for my uncle, was not made lightly, but it sure was a good choice. The joy and excitement he had, both when we spoke to him on the phone and went to visit him, was palpable. There was no where he would rather be.
So, when I watched Here We Are, I was reminded of the uncle who played endless games of cards and Monopoly with me, who when we heard a strange noise in the house told me that it was one of our relatives trying to contact us from the beyond, who snuggled me close and claimed that the thunder was G-d bowling another strike. Part of me felt the pain of Aharon thinking he was “giving up on his son” but more of me felt the joy that Uri would have amazing experiences that would become treasured memories for the whole family.
Here We Are is a beautiful story of love, determination, kindness and letting go. A must see!
– Co-Director of JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival
Program Coordinator, Arts + Ideas